Today, we are announcing not two…but three class winners from Nelson! Apparently, we have a lot of big thinkers here.

The Kootenay Contraption Contest 2020’s challenge was to think about a challenge kids and educators are facing at school or homeschool, and to create a contraption to solve the problem they come up with so future students and educators won’t face the same problem in the future.

We purposefully left it quite broad to encourage them to think bigger about something that is important to them. We really noticed amongst all the contraptions we received (over 150!) a good amount of contraptions that were mentioning solar panels and were addressing environmental issues.

Avielle Zumpano-Intihar won the Grade 2 class prize.

“Avielle is a true adventurer and loves to explore the world around her. Curiosity could be her middle name! An avid skier, biker, and Taekwondo student,  she’s always singing a song and up for a camping trip. She dreams of being a veterinarian and would choose macaroni and cheese over any other meal.” Said her mother Tanji Zumpano.

Not only is Avielle a thinker, she’s also very active! The problem she wanted to solve was that “People are throwing their masks on the ground and it is bad for the environment”. She thought about a robot that could do it all…pick up the masks, wash them and make them ready to be sold again. Sounds pretty great to us.

As Avielle’s mother said: “[We are so] thrilled and so pleased that our energetic and empathetic seven-year-old is conscious of some of the diverse and complex challenges our world faces – and that she cares enough to try and find solutions to these problems.”

Thank you to Denise Currie, her teacher, from South Nelson Elementary School, for participating and thank you for being a dedicated participant in the Kootenay Contraption Contest! Thanks also to IO Engineering & Design for partnering with us to provide the 2020 classroom winner prizes!

Isobel Seyfried won the Grade 5 class prize.

“Isobel enjoys school and loves being active. Some of her favourite activities are soccer and skiing. She has been involved in the Girl Guides association for the past few years. She loves animals, and has a pet bunny named Lavender, and a golden retriever named Jesse. She enjoys reading, and has read all the, “I Survived”, series by Lauren Tarshis. She enjoys playing Roblox on the computer.” Said her mother 

“I was so excited for Isobel when I found out she won! This was a project that she spent a lot of time working on independently, and it was nice to see that this ignited a creative energy.

Isobel Seyfried participated with her Girl Guides unit, thanks to Anne Simonen who shared the contest with her! 

She thought of a problem that happens quite frequently…tables at school are unstable and “shake”. Yes, it can be quite annoying and it makes a lot of noise. As she said, it’s not only a contraption for schools, it can also be for homeschooled students (and we think it could help adults and their home and work offices as well!)

The way her contraption works is to have “sticky pairs of boots” or suction cups at the end of each

leg of the table to help stabilize the table. This system can also be reversed to allow changes in the set up. If a teacher wants to move the tables around, they just have to activate the suction again to stabilize the table! Isobel demonstrates quite well that not all contraptions have to be robots! Great work Isobel.

Skyla won the Grade 7 class prize 

Skyla did a pretty amazing job at coming up with a contraption that would increase learning efficiency in the classroom while reducing the amount of paper in school. 

She came up with a tablet that you could write on with a pen and then send the content to a school-related app. Sounds cool, eh? But there’s more! There would be a microphone as well to record what the teacher is saying with the possibility of translating the content in multiple languages.

We really liked it. Not only does it allow kids to have access to educational content on different platforms, depending on their preference, but it’s also very inclusive! Do you want to learn a new language? Do you want to verify vocabulary if English is not your first language? Do you want to be able to access school content even if you’re sick at home, or not able to write? You can do it all with Skyla’s contraption. And there are no distractions as you can’t download non-school related apps on this tablet! Very clever.

Thank you to her teacher, Mrs De Pauw, from Trafalgar School for participating in the Kootenay Contraption Contest!

GLOWS and the Kootenay Association for Science and Technology would like to thank FortisBC for their ongoing support and title sponsorship of the Kootenay Contraption Contest. Without sponsors like FortisBC it would be very difficult for  KAST to continue to offer Growing and Learning Opportunities With STEAM to youth in our region.



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