Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Davis middle-schooler's invention wins award

(Originally published for ThisWeek News)

Wednesday January 7, 2015 8:56 AM

Davis Middle School student Jonathan Steinke won a national award for his invention "The Grab N Gulp," a handle that attaches to a water bottle.


The award came from the Student's Ideas for a Better America organization, which is part of the National Museum of Education.  


“I was really excited and didn’t expect to win,” Steinke, a 7th grade student, said.


Steinke won a certificate and a $100 award check.


He competed against 24 other students in grades three through seven.


When he was in 5th grade, Steinke entered his invention in the Invention Convention as the Glove A Bottle, a water bottle with an attached handle, and won first place.  


This invention transformed into the Grab N Gulp, which now has a handle that straps onto any water bottle, is easier to use and has a catchier name, according to Steinke’s mother, Trisha Wright.


His invention came about because he is a hockey player and found it difficult to get a quick drink from a regular water bottle because he had to take his gloves off first.


Steinke said that he likes how inventing allows him to be creative and help solve problems.


He said he will start letting teammates use his invention and he hopes that other teams, even the Columbus Blue Jackets, will eventually use the Grab N Gulp.


He hopes to start selling Grab N Gulp and then work on making other inventions.


Wright said she is proud of her son and is impressed by how he is always thinking.


“I remember one of his first inventions was a contraption to divert rainwater from the roof into a smaller pipe so that the water could generate electricity or be used for another way. He called it the Rain Mill,” she said.


Wright said that Steinke became interested in inventions in third grade and now he keeps a journal of his ideas for inventions.


Joonho Oh, a 4th grader from Dublin, also won in the competition with his “Wash your iPad” invention.


Both Steinke and Oh participate in a program called Bridge the Gap.  


It teaches students about the invention process, marketing, patents and business development.


They meet at Tech Columbus every other Wednesday, under the instruction of Cherylyn Rushton and Tom Carlisi.  


“It's more than just learning about inventions. They learn how to do an elevator pitch, they learn public speaking skills through pitching their ideas and they gain confidence,” Wright said.


Steinke heard about the Invention Convention contest through Bridge the Gap. He is in his 2nd year of the program and is learning how to write a business plan for his invention.  


Not surprisingly, Wright said that when Steinke grows up, he wants to be either an engineer or an inventor.