Middle School students in Wayne County competed for the top spots in the 2020 Young Inventors Award Program.


Dan West, president and CEO of the Livonia Chamber of Commerce started the night out quoting Thomas Edison who once said, “to invent you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.”

The annual Young Inventors Showcase featured the creativity and ingenuity of Middle School students in Wayne County. This year’s event took place the day before the National Kid Inventors’ Day, which is on January 17th, the birth anniversary of Benjamin Franklin, who invented the first swim flippers almost 300 years ago at age 12.  This day is to acknowledge past and present accomplishments of kid inventors and to encourage the creativity of future kid inventors.

“Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, once said, ‘the ones who think they are crazy enough to change the world are the ones who do,’” said West, the master of ceremonies.

Hundreds of middle school students were involved in the program. Top finalists of the Young Inventors Program were acknowledged on Thursday, January 16 at VistaTech Center in Livonia.

“Making things, creating things, being part of something that is brand new is always going to be a good feeling,” Dr. Conway Jeffress, president of Schoolcraft College, so enjoy the feelings you have tonight regarding your creations.”

The program included mentors for the students: Auto Racing and Car Builder, Danny Kellermeyer, Motor Cycle Builder Dozer and Jacques Panis former president of Shinola.

A team of judges reviewed each project and picked the top two winners from each school and top three overall. The judges included team members from AlphaUSA. David Lawrence, Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of AlphaUSA reflected on the important role of mentors in the Young Inventors Program.

“Students were able to see how these mentors were able to turn their passion into a fun and satisfying career. By bringing these inventors to the schools, students could hear their stories, ask questions and see and touch these inventions in person.  Students were able to see how these inventions work,” said Lawrence. “Congratulation to all the students. May you, like our mentors, turn your passion into fun and satisfying careers.”

Stevenson Middle School student Logan Worthy took the highest honor for his Smart Microwave Concept. He was the 1st Place Winner. Nathan George from Hillside Middle School was the 2nd Place Winner for his project Poseidon and 3rd Place Winner Andrew Creedon is from Frost Middle School and won for his invention Green Outlet.

The Young Inventors program is a collaborative effort with  AlphaUSA, BOSCH, Livonia Chamber of Commerce, Livonia AM Rotary, Schoolcraft College Foundation, Schoolcraft College Occupational Programs, Jimmy Johns, Dave and Busters, Schoolcraft College Occupational Programs, Jimmy Johns, Dave and Busters, Schoolcraft College, The Rockall Fund and five school districts including Wayne-Westland Community Schools, Livonia Public Schools, Clarenceville School District, Northville Public Schools and Garden City Public Schools.

Livonia Mayor Maureen Miller Brosnan recognized several people who she called a group of champions including the parents of the students. “I want to recognize that sometimes it is difficult to have a curious mind in your household, to have someone who is always thinking outside the box, who is always turning things around, taking in things apart and leaving spare pieces around. To each of you parents who have encouraged that curiosity, who have continued to push it forward, being champions and giving your kids the courage necessary to be brave,” she said. “It is tough to have new ideas in this world; it is tough to hear the ‘no’ the kids often hear before they find the thing to catapult them to greatness … the next big idea, I am confident, is sitting in this room tonight.”

More than 200 people attended the event inside Schoolcraft College VistaTech Center to hear invention concepts from middle-school students.

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