Springfield Homeschoolers’ Invention Lands Them a Trip to Smithsonian


SPRINGFIELD, Mo.–When three deadly hurricanes made landfall last year, an idea for an invention was sparked by a group of Springfield homeschoolers. 

One year later, that invention has won them a trip to the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. 

The kids met through the Queen City Stem Facebook Page. It’s where one of the girl’s mothers recruited the group to enter into a worldwide competition called the Invent It Challenge. 

The invention that helped them win the contest for their age division is called the FilTurbine Guttering System.

When this group of young inventors researched the toll last year’s hurricanes took on clean drinking water, they came up with a solution to a real world problem.

 “It makes me feel really happy that I can help contribute to like building things that could help people,” says coinventor, Brayden Lauderbaugh.

It took Lauderbaugh and his three coinventors three months to come up with the FilTurbine Guttering System with each member taking on a role. 

 “My role was to help build it,” says coinventor, Eli Carter.

After combining their talents, they invented a home guttering system equipped with a turbine to generate energy and filter clean water for those affected by hurricanes or flooding.

“Getting all the debris out like rocks or leaves, that’s what the mesh is for at the top, but at the end you can attach a filter,” says coinventor, Jack Ireland, 

It’s an invention that isn’t being used yet, but Ireland has high hopes for it.

 “Being sold, maybe being worldwide, really just making it to homes,” says Ireland. 

In the meantime, the group is just thankful they were one of 217 entries to win the Invent It Challenge that landed them an all expense paid trip to the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

 “I think it’s really a great honor for our prototype to be put in the museum and I think it will be inspiring for other kids too because my team is just a bunch of 10-year-olds from Springfield,” says coinventor, Paige Blair. 

The kids leave on Wednesday for Washington D.C. where they will come up with another invention with other kids as well as get a tour of the Smithsonian.

The group tells KOLR10 they’re looking forward to the ribbon cutting ceremony where their invention will be on display for one year at the Smithsonian. 

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