A while ago, the kids in J's gifted class had to think of a common problem and then come up with an invention to solve that problem. They had to make a prototype (working or not) for less than $20, think of a catchy name and design a logo, set up a display to show off their creation, and keep detailed logs of the whole process.
Tonight they held an Invention Convention to show off the results.
Some of the things they came up with were: an auto-tuner for a guitar, a pencil dispenser/storage unit, an earring finder (for when you drop them), a way for kids to keep their house key safe (and hidden), and a device for cats to feed themselves.
J's invention was a disk remover. When he was surveying us for ideas, I said that I hated how hard it is to remove some DVDs from their cases and how sometimes it feels like you're going to break the thing in half before you get it out. So he designed a device to make that easier.
It was interesting to see what these kids had come up with, to listen to their spiels, and to quiz them on the design process and what they would change about their invention if they could. Not all of the inventions were marketable but some of them definitely had potential.