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Freshman places third in Invention Convention Globals

By MEGHAN BRADBURY - | Sep 9, 2021

A freshman homeschooled Cape Coral student recently placed third in the Invention Convention Globals presented by Raytheon Technologies for students in the sixth to eighth grade category for her invention, FLDORI Alert System: Don’t Forget Your Child.

“It was unexpected and I was very honored to place in third,” Serena Kasai-Hazekamp said.

Her invention previously won the Innovation in Automotive Award, which was presented by Maxim Integrated, as well as third place in the eighth grade category at Invention Convention U.S. Nationals, which was held in June.

For students to participate in Invention Convention Globals they had to receive an invitation. The students were required to submit a video presentation of their invention, a prototype, an inventor’s logbook showing their journey, as well as a design board.

Kasai-Hazekamp was among 185 students who participated in the Invention Convention Nationals programs in the United States, Mexico, Singapore and China. A virtual celebration was held on Aug. 20, which was hosted by Hasbro Senior Director of Development Gray Bright and keynote speaker Author William Kamkwamba of “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.”

“The virtual celebration was very fun and interesting. The organizers found a way to turn The Henry Ford (the museum that the Invention Convention would have been held in) into a virtual museum. Participants were given a couple opportunities to explore the exhibits and socialize with one another in this virtual world,” she explained.

Her invention, DORI Alert System, is designed to remind parents of a child’s occupancy in the backseat.

“When the parent walks away from the vehicle with the key fob, it communicates with the brain computer through Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). Once the BLE signal reaches a certain point of weakness, it sounds an audible alarm, capturing the parent’s attention. This invention is free from a smartphone application and can be installed without professional assistance,” Kasai-Hazekamp said.

She said it works when weight is applied to the Child Weight Sensor, as it arms the DORI Alert System.

“If the key fob moves away from the car, while the DORI Alert System is armed, the alarm activates,” Kasai-Hazekamp explained.

The system can be disarmed by removal of weight from the Child Weight Sensor, or when at least 100 pounds is applied to the Front Passenger Weight Sensor.

“When the key fob moves away from the car while the DORI Alert System is disarmed, the alarm will not activate,” she said. “An individual can install the DORI Alert System into any vehicle, as a way to alert them of a child in the backseat.”

The entire experience of Invention Convention is one that she encourages others to partake in if they have the opportunity. It is a global K-12 invention education curricular program that is mapped to national and state educational standards, which teaches students problem identification, problem-solving, entrepreneurship and creativity skills. Each year more than 135,000 K-12 inventors and thousands of teachers from across the globe participate in the programs.

“It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot from this experience. I met new people, made new friends. It was inspiring to hear the stories from guest speakers, fellow competitors and past competitors. My favorite guest speaker was William Kamkwamba. When he realized his family could no longer afford to pay for his schooling, he took his education into his own hands. He didn’t allow his future to be dictated by his circumstances,” Kasai-Hazekamp said. “Despite facing many challenges, he never gave up nor did he let anyone talk him out of his ambitions. His story showed me that one does not need experience or age to make a difference in the world or one’s own community; just the ability to believe in yourself and the will not give up.

“In addition, the feedback from the judges and others has been very encouraging: ‘Never give up. You have an amazing idea and an amazing potential. Regardless of the outcome of the competition, try and work hard towards your goal and then you will be able to accomplish great things. It is not about winning, but about the value you gain and provide through your invention.'”