SARANAC For over three weeks, students had been brainstorming creative ways to solve the problems that they face everyday. From attempting to present a movie ticket while juggling a large movie popcorn, candy, and soda to finding the Nintendo DS game that a sibling has lost - again. Each year, Saranac Elementary 5th grade students are tasked with creating and building an invention that solves a problem. This is a process that requires hours of focused thought (and a certain amount of parental support). The annual Invention Convention, coordinated by teachers Nicole Couture, Lisa Layhee, and Alyce Fradenburg, allows students to showcase their inventions. The fifth-graders are required to come up with an original (or a new and improved) invention. They begin by building abreadboard, or small model, they analyze how much the invention will cost, how much they should sell it for, and then build a functioning model of the invention. In addition, students must design an attractive poster board that includes the name of the invention, how it works, its purpose, and the materials used to make it. Its little wonder that after investing such time and effort, students are eager to talk about their inventions during the convention, which is held in the gymnasium. During the convention, students from other grades, parents, and school staff weave in and out of the rows of inventions, and listen as 5th graders explain problems their inventions solve, how the inventions work, and how they came up with the idea for their invention. This year, each visitor was greeted by the musical sounds of Nelson Moores Goldberg-esque toothpaste squeezer, which included a drum, a cowbell, and a string of chimes to make squeezing out the last bit of toothpaste a little more pleasant. From Allison Finks Cat Grooming Arch to Jamie Vermettes Sweet Lullabies musical baby pillow, students intrigued Invention Convention attendees. Every year, the convention gets better, and the inventions are fascinating, explains an enthusiastic Couture. Looking around the gymnasium, Couture adds the level of parental involvement and support is wonderful, and it gives parents a chance to see the big finale after all of the hard work. Summing up the experience from the students point of view, I liked being able to see the other students inventions, and I liked showing mine off, says Mike Terry from Fradenburgs class.