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Scientists from Medical College help 4th graders get inventive

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A kid's imagination knows no boundaries.  So what happens when you pair them up with real life scientists?  They become inventive!

4th graders at St. Matthias Parish School in Milwaukee spent nearly two months coming up with creative ideas and turned them into inventions.

They came up with things like an infrared helmet light to a portable baseball feeder.

On Wednesday, they got to present their inventions to three scientists from the Medical College of Wisconsin and a patent attorney to learn how to turn their projects into patentable products.

“To see really if it's something that is novel.  Is it something that they could eventually turn into a product?” said Kalpa Vithalani, a licensing manager from the MCW’s technology development department

During the visit, the students gave demonstrations and the experts gave honest critiques.

“The name of my invention is the magnaboard.  You can pull this off and paint it and paint the wall,” said 4th grader Matthew Fularczyk.

He created a removable baseboard that could help make painting walls easier and mess-free.

“The other option that could be is that you have one magnet and then maybe just a strip of what right here, metal?” suggested one of the scientists.

“I thought it was good because they made good changes,” said Fularczyk.

It's an effort to help them assess problems and create successful solutions.

“Kids at this age are the most imaginative, and if we can encourage them and guide them to harness that creativity and imagination into dreaming into new and important things that can help the world and help themselves in the process, it's the best thing we can do for them,” said Vithalani.

She said with a little push, these kids could very well become the next Thomas Edison or Benjamin Franklin of their generation.

The visit is made possible through an outreach program between St. Matthias Parish School and the Medical College's Biotechnology and Bioengineering Center.

The goal is to spark interest in the STEM fields -- science, technology, engineering and math.