The Upstate of South Carolina was hopping with future inventors at the recent Duke Energy Invention Convention held at the TD Convention Center in Greenville, S.C. According to organizers, the objective of the Invention Convention is to challenge the imagination, innovation and creativity of students in the development of solutions to everyday issues. More than 1,800 fourth- through eighth-grade students from upstate schools, as well as homeschool organizations participated in this year’s event by thinking of, creating and showcasing an original invention. Those inventions were then judged by a panel of nearly 100 judges, some of which were Oconee Nuclear Station teammates. Winners in each category received recognition and various prizes including gift cards, iPad mini’s and tickets to sporting events. There were five categories an invention could place in, including “Most Energy Efficient.”
Duke Energy became the signature sponsor of the Invention Convention in 2013 because of the event’s primary focus – to get school children involved in science and math in a creative manner. As part of the activities, staff from the World of Energy, the education center at the Oconee Nuclear Station, set up an interactive booth for students to explore on their visit to the Invention Convention. They learned about conducting electricity by placing their hands on the Van de Graaff generator, which was a hair-raising experience, and they were also able to see a replica of a nuclear fuel pellet.
Planning is already underway for next year’s event, with ideas to increase participation and educational opportunities. Duke Energy will again sponsor and play a part in next year’s event. For more information on the Duke Energy Invention Convention, go to www.icupstate.com.