Meet Some of Our Inventors!
The CIC program benefits hundreds of schools and thousands of students across the state of Connecticut. And many of our inventors continue the work they did in CIC by pursing patents, becoming entrepreneurs, and realizing their untapped potential as problems-solvers of the future. Through the CIC program, the inventors presented below each set out on a path that led them to national recognition, their dream school, or their ideal career. We know that invention education works and these are just a few examples.
Click on the profile of each of our inventors below to learn more!
Want to share your invention convention story? Please contact Nick Briere: email@example.com.
"CIC was the start to this all, so I owe everything to this program" "I've always envisioned it in grocery stores all over America and that's where I'm determined to bring it" Hannah Pucci is the creator of "Egghead Ice Cream" (US Patent 9326532), an ice cream packing method of pre-scooped individually portioned ice cream in the shape of an egg that can be easily placed on a cone. Egghead ice cream comes in an egg carton shaped container and will allow multiple flavors per pack. Pucci won a Blue Ribbon Award and the Whole Foods "Food Innovation Award" at the 2012 CIC. She spent several years partnering with industry, local experts, and the University of Connecticut where she launched a successful market trial at the UCONN Dairy Bar in 2017. Pucci was awarded a $10,000 grant from the CTNext Entrepreneur Innovation Awards to further improve the concept (2017) and also received a scholarship from the Milton Fisher Fund for Innovation and Creativity in 2018. She has met with companies like Baskin Robbins and Dippin Dots and continues to be mentored by them as she pursues her goal of seeing Egghead Ice Cream in grocery stores across America. Pucci, a visionary entrepreneur, is now a student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where she pursues double majors in a program called Design, Innovation, and Society and also Business Management. She recently told CIC that, "There is not enough exposure out there to what it means to be an innovator for school aged kids. That is why I believe CIC is so vital, and should be a requirement for all children throughout the country."
Gabriel Mesa has been a participant of CIC since the 3rd grade and has been recognized as a serial inventor. In 2009, Mesa won the Artoli Family Inspiration Award at CIC for developing a new way of safely attaching tracheotomy tubes to patients. In 2010, he won the Microsoft and Recognized Inventor Awards for a watch that builds trust with dementia or schizophrenia patients by showing soothing images of the patients' families interspersed with doctors' orders that can be updated wirelessly. Mesa went on to win his second Recognized Inventor Award at CIC and CT state championship at the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge in 2011 for inventing the "IV Alert", an alert system that prevents the intravenous cord from being disconnected through visual and auditory alerts. His more notable inventions include the "Carbon Battery" (a biodegradable environmentally neutral battery that generates electrical energy through mechanical instead of chemical means using graphene), "Stimuped" (a shoe insert powered by piezo-electricity that provides pain relief for people who suffer from diabetic neuropathy), and the "Ferro Magnetic Apnea Collar" or FMAC (a collar that uses magnetic forces to open up the airway to provide easy breathing during the night for patients who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea). In 2016, Mesa founded his company Mesa Foundry, was honored at the White House Science Fair, and submitted a patent application for Stimuped with the help of students from the UCONN School of Law which was granted the following year (US Patent 10195431). Mesa was featured on Forbes 30 Under 30 - Energy 2017 List and continues his innovative aspirations at Yale University.
The idea for "Message Mask" came to Lucca Riccio when he visited his grandmother in the emergency room in March 2016, not long before she died, and listened as she struggled to communicate through her oxygen mask. Lucca's uncle was out of state and trying to speak to her over the phone, but he could not understand her through the mask. This had a very personal effect on Lucca, and the idea for the message Mask was born. The Message Mask, now Tube TalkerTM (US Patent Pending) is a modified oxygen mask with a noise-cancelling microphone attached to the mouthpiece. The microphone can connect to a speaker via Bluetooth, allowing the patient to be heard loudly and clearly. Riccio received Brocade Communications System's Most Marketable Product Award at NICEE and has since filed for patent protection with the USPTO. He pitched for and won a $10,000 grant from the State of Connecticut's CTNEXT Entrepreneur Innovation Awards and a $2,000 Judge's Favorite Award. Riccio was featured in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Inventors Eye. He is securing seed funding for the Tube TalkerTM and plans to commercialize it soon. He hopes to replace every hospital and personal oxygen mask with his device. "Even aside from the awards, it has been a really good experience to know that I could be helping a whole bunch of people," Lucca said.
"I learned a lot about hard work and persistence and not giving up on something you believe in" Mallory Kievman translated her invention convention experience into a real world solution one summer when she had the hiccups constantly in the summer of 7th grade. She refused to accept that there was nothing she could do about it, so Mallory spent hundreds of hours researching both the physiology of hiccups and the folk remedies that persisted (despite their general ineffectiveness.) After weeks of trial and error (and continued hiccupping), Mallory identified three ingredients and approaches that worked to soothe her own hiccups: apple cider vinegar, sugar and sucking a lollipop. Mallory combined all three and coined her invention the "Hiccupop" (US Patent 8563030) This won her multiple awards at the 2013 Invention Convention and launched a successful business: hiccupops.com. She was featured in The New York Times, The Hartford Courant, NEWS 8, and on Disney Channel's Make Your Mark! Kievman went on to attend Colby College and founded Boston based Meter Therapeutics in 2017. Meter Therapeutics was a 2018 finalist in the Boston MassChallenge.
"CIC showed me how to put my gift of problem solving to work" "Thanks to Connecticut Invention Convention all those years ago, I have been invited into this broad family of critical thinkers and problem solvers, where we continue to invent and inspire others to join us" Zoe Eggleston is the inventor of the "Ice Safety Device" (US Patent 8299931) which measures the thickness of ice to determine safety conditions of a body of water. Eggleston was awarded a scholarship at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and graduated with a B.S. in mechanical engineering in 2017. She now enjoys her career as an engineer with Turner Construction Company in New York City.
"Invention Convention has taught me the valuable process of engineering a solution to a problem which has brought me a great deal of confidence" In 8th grade, Audrey Larson invented "C.A.N.O.P.E." (Carbon Abatement Naturally Over Paved Environments), which uses solar powered mobile vents densely lined with plants native to the region to filter out carbon dioxide emitted by vehicles. Her inspiration for C.A.N.O.P.E. is the growing threat of climate change and what she says is a lack of action to solve an issue which affects all of humanity. According to Larson's calculations, C.A.N.O.P.E. could filter out 78 million tons of carbon dioxide per year if it covered every roadway in the world. She is in the process of obtaining a preliminary patent for her invention. In 9th grade, Larson invented "Safe K.I.D.S.", a foldable bulletproof panel designed to protect students and and teachers from an active shooter. The two panel system swings out from the wall and locks in place. Larson, who lives not far from the Newtown school shooting, was motivated by that tragedy to develop her invention. She was featured in The New Yorker, ABC News, and Good Morning America. Larson is currently seeking a patent for her invention.