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Brown County 5th graders recognized nationally for inventions that solve real-world problems

Brown County's Averi Bohbrink and Karma Harrison found a love for inventing through a class project.
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Posted at 6:55 PM, Jun 13, 2024

BROWN COUNTY — Brown County’s Sprunica Elementary school may become the new hotbed for young inventors.

Last week, the school had two fifth grade students represent the state of Indiana at the National Invention Convention in Michigan.

It marked the first time any Hoosier students presented in the national competition.

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The opportunity arose after science teacher and Brown County schools teacher of the year, Abby Magner, encouraged all fifth graders to solve a real world problem.

"It was all done in the lab, and then they created their posters at home," Magner said.

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Bohbrik created a invention to improve grain bin safety while Harrison's invention provided more privacy for public restrooms.

Two of the top five projects were created by Karma Harrison and Averi Bohbrink.

“It's still sinking in that we are the first kids to go to the nationals from Indiana,” Bohbrink said.

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Magner alongside Bohbrink's presentation

Bohbrink’s invention aims to save farmers from falling into grain bins.

Harrison’s provides more privacy for the gaps in-between public bathroom stalls.

“The hardest part was that there was already something like my invention but I wanted to try and make it better,” Harrison said.

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Harrison and Bohbrink’s ideas placed top five in the Indiana invention convention.

While they didn’t place nationally, both still have pride in being the first Hoosiers to participate in the national convention.

“I still can't grasp that I made it there with Avery,” Harrison shared. "We had a lot of fun, but it was also very stressful.”

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Harrison alongside her teacher Abby Magner

Magner says it shows just how much progress the district has made in forwarding STEM education.

“Just to see two girls represent Brown County, Indiana,” Magner said. “We're small. We're a tourist town. We're making major waves with STEM. I'm thrilled that they did that.”

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Both students’ families are pursuing potential patents for the inventions while the girls claim to already have ideas for their next invention.

Bohbrink hopes other young girl inventors are inspired by their story.

“For the girls out there and any other kids, don't give up,” Bohbrink said. “If you keep going with it, you will do great things in life.”

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