4th-Graders Reach Fundraising Goal to Attend National Invention Convention

After just a week of fundraising, the five girls will be able to showcase their inventions on a national stage next month

After raising enough money to cover their travel costs, the next generation of great inventors will get to showcase their ideas at a national convention next month.

Five fourth-graders at Portage Park School swept their category at Chicago's Student Invention Convention, qualifying them to compete at the National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Exposition in Washington D.C. from May 19-21.

But the costs of attending the competition were prohibitive, and the school had to embark on a fundraising mission to send the five girls. They reached their goal by Wednesday night, just one week after they began raising money.

It will cost $1,100 for each girl to attend the national competition, including the cost of the flight, hotel, and meals, according to their GoFundMe page.

"The cost is not something the elementary school can incur amid Chicago Public Schools' ongoing budget crisis," the page said. 

With five winners, as well as their parent chaperones, the Northwest Side school set a goal of $9,000 to raise. Now, the inventors of the 'Hands Free Umbrella,' the 'Boot Dryer,' the 'Pillow Prop-er,' and the 'Miss Buttery Stick' are set to join 300 other student entrepreneurs in the upcoming showcase. 

The experience will "empower them as learners, instill confidence, and teach them life-long critical problem-solving skills that will help them to succeed in America’s future workforce," the page reads.

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