Some notable inventions by Iowans include the trampoline, Eskimo pie, screen door and something called the COMPUTER. That inventive spirit is alive and well at the University of Iowa, where hundreds of young inventors from around the state gather for “Invent Iowa.” It’s a statewide program developed to assist educators in promoting the invention process as a method of teaching creative thinking and problem solving skills. Students are encouraged to identify a real-world need or problem and develop their invention to successfully solve this problem.
An invention doesn’t necessarily need to be completely original to qualify at the invention convention. An inventor can improve upon an existing design. Paul Berge was inspired by two Iowa inventions, the computer and the antacid tablet, to create his own device. He solved the problem of indigestion caused by computer frustrations, by inventing the “Compacid”, a computer that automatically dispenses antacid tablets at the first sign of an error message.