WEST ALEXANDRIA — Joslynn Beneke and Jillian Overmyer of Twin Valley Local Community Schools recently competed in Invention League Nationals. The team recently took a project called the “Makeup Saver” to Local, state, and then national competition.
They are now getting ready to bring a new invention to state competition on Sunday, July 28.
Twin Valley Coach Amanda Beneke explained, the Invention League program at TVS is currently for grades four through eight, though Invention League at other schools is K-12. The program has children solve a problem they have in their every day life or a global problem with an invention. They then have to show how this invention will solve a legitimate problem at local, state, and national competition. They compete for prizes such as scholarships and patents.
The timeline for Invention League is a little different. For the Makeup Saver project, the team competed a Local and State level last year and are just now competing at state. This year, they are competing at State Competition, but if they move forward, they will not compete at National level until next summer.
For Makeup Saver, the problem they isolated was the makeup that is left at the bottom of a bottle. They are attempting to save that product and save the consumer money.
“We wanted to make a product that would save money, reduce waste, and help people overall to get all of the makeup out of the corners of the containers, because the tools they were given didn’t get it all the way,” Overmyer said.
Joslynn Beneke added, “Expensive makeup costs a lot and you end up throwing a lot away. The expensive makeup companies make their products in weird shaped containers that look pretty, but it is impossible to get all of the makeup out. You’re wasting a whole lot of money.”
The girls were top scorer overall at the local competition, second place at state competition, and were selected for a VIP Breakfast at National Competition.
When they started with this invention, it was focused only on makeup, but after input from the judges early on, they made a prototype to solve mens cosmetic needs — brushes that would help with beard balm or other products. If they continue with this product, they have a website planned out so a customer can customize their own Makeup Saver with colors and attachments. They currently have 10 or 11 attachments planned.
The invention they are presenting at state competition is a contact lens with a blue filter to prevent harmful blue light rays.
At the local level they competed against five teams and received a perfect score, being named Top Scorer yet again. Judge feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
“There is a blue filter you can buy in your glasses that is only if you have prescription glasses and it is an added cost. Ours would be contact lenses that you could have with or without a prescription. Some people take their glasses off to go outside, but the blue light rays mostly come from the sun. Not many people take their contacts out to go outside, so more people would get more protection,” Joslynn Beneke said.
After feedback at local competition, the team will be taking additional prototypes to state competition on July 28.
“We’ve been doing more research to prepare. We’re looking at out board and going over everything. We are working on making another prototype and making sure everything is set. We’re looking at the feedback from other State Competitions so we can prepare for this one,” Joslynn Beneke said.
For Coach Amanda Beneke, she believes the girls work well off of each other and make each other stronger competitors.
“They are a really strong team because they bounce off of each other. Where one of them might be really good at speaking about a specific part of their product, the other might be really well showing that off or talking about the design process. They are really good in that way, that they are really balanced. They are both really good under pressure, so when it starts to get a little tough and they really have to think about they worked through, they really step up to the challenge,” Amanda Beneke said.
Both girls said Invention League made them more outgoing and gave them a love of solving problems and doing presentations.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH