A Long Beach fourth grader has come up with an invention that could shed some light on a problem for a lot of women who carry purses. Her creation is one of the finalists in an international competition. Now, she needs your help to win the ultimate prize.
Nine-year-old Marlee Schevers didn't have to look far to find inspiration for her invention.
"My mom always loses her keys, glasses, or wallet and she's always making me go find them. It gets aggravating," said Marlee.
Marlee created the Solbrite, a solar-paneled purse with a light inside.
"The sun would hit the solar panel and make the LED light up. So when you open it up, the LED light will shine. So you dig through your purse and find the keys easily," explained Marlee.
The project was part of an assignment in Marlee's gifted class at Harper McCaughan Elementary School in Long Beach. Each student had to identify a problem, brain storm for ideas to solve it, choose the best solution, and build the prototype.
"I was excited first, but when I got through the process of making the invention, I got kind of stressed out," said Marlee.
Finally, the students had to make a commercial to market their products. Their inventions were entered in the "ePals Invent It Challenge". This month, Marlee learned that she was one of 16 finalists chosen from around the world. Marlee is also the only winner in Mississippi.
"I was really shocked," said Marlee.
"I was very excited for her, because I knew when I saw her invention that it was something special," said Marlee's Discovery teacher Debbie Holt. "If I couldn't find my keys in my purse at night, I think a Solbrite purse will work very well for me."
The competition isn't over yet. Of the 16-finalists, the four with the most on-line votes will win the grand prize: Patents for their inventions.
"You could sell it to somebody, but winning would be an extra bonus," said Marlee.
When asked what would happen if she becomes one of the four grand prize winners, Marlee smiled and replied, "I would be even more shocked."
grand prize winners will be announced on February 4th. If you are
interested in helping Marlee win, cast your vote by visiting: http://en.community.epals.com/smithsonian_on_epals/p/inventionchallenge2012epalschoice.aspx
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