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home : education : schools October 17, 2018

12/13/2011 1:12:00 PM
Second grader wins in Inventerprise
David Newbold visited Sisters Elementary School last week to congratulate Hollie Lewis. photo by John Griffith
+ click to enlarge
David Newbold visited Sisters Elementary School last week to congratulate Hollie Lewis. photo by John Griffith

Bend Research's challenge to the K-12 Central Oregon student community was to "face one of your greatest fears, then work to solve it." Sisters second-grader Hollie Lewis faced down the fear of tsunamis to come up with her invention: a raft that could be folded up and stored under a house. In the event of a tsunami, the raft would automatically open up and float the house to safety.

Hollie's brainstorm earned her a first-place prize in the annual Bend Research Inventerprise competition.

"This year the problem to be solved was to invent something that would protect people from something scary," said David Newbold, an engineer and scientist from Bend Research.

Newbold visited a special assembly at Sisters Elementary School Wednesday to present Hollie with a certificate as second-grade winner, a special Bend Research Inventerprise T-shirt, and an invitation to visit Bend Research for a special kids' science night on January 10.

The full text of Hollie's proposal is posted with the online version of this story at">

More than 1,000 students entered projects in the Inventerprise competition this year. The top high school prize of $1,000 was awarded to Kingston Steele, 18, of Madras High School for a rock-climbing safety device. Alex Moore of Cascade Middle School won for a dog vest that keeps pets calm during disturbances. Seth McGuire and Kyle Taylor of Pilot Butte Middle School tied for the grand prize, offering a lightweight and absorbent alternative to sandbags for flood protection. The middle school winners got to chose between a digital camera, an e-reader, an iPod, a mountain bike or season pass to Mt. Bachelor.

The projects were judged by a group of 25 Bend Research scientists, COCC educators and volunteers in one long evening session, according to Newbold.

On two Tuesdays a month from January to June Bend Research hosts science nights for fourth- and fifth-graders. A number of Sisters students have already signed up.

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