Archived Story

RMS students show off big ideas

Published 3:51pm Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Seventh-grade civics teacher Derek Gober said the students in his class at Russellville Middle School are living proof that it doesn’t matter how young you are when it comes to having big ideas.

Gober, who has taught at RMS since 2007, said the evidence is plain each year when he has his seventh graders complete an economics unit where they break into groups and come up with a project that hasn’t been invented yet.

“Every year I’m more and more surprised by the creativity these kids have,” Gober said.

“They always seem to come up with things that I would consider buying if they were actually on the market. If they really channeled this creativity, they could go pretty far with some of these ideas.”

Gober said each year the students vote on the best product for several different categories.

This year, the “Simple but Great” award went to a cookie dunker made for Oreo cookies that is shaped in a form that allows it to hang on the side of a cup.

The “Best Blueprint” award went to “The Crime Bottle,” which is a bottle of pepper spray that is equipped with a camera so that whenever the bottle is being utilized, it also takes a picture of the person being sprayed.

The masterminds behind “The Crime Bottle” were seventh graders McKinley Copeland, Amilgar Pascual, Francisco Pineda and Patrick Crummie.

“When we first started coming up with ideas, we through of a ‘crime watch’ that had a similar concept of taking a person’ s picture, but then we came up with the pepper spray idea,” Crummie said.

“It seemed like a better idea because you could also defend yourself while taking a picture of a person who might be attacking you. Then you could give the picture to the police and hopefully catch the person.”

This year’s “Most Futuristic” award went to the “Rubi” – an invention that also received the overall award for best product idea.

Seventh graders Haley White, Addie Scruggs, Katie Daracott and Megan Warhurst came up with the product that features a phone case with built in Wi-Fi capabilities.

“We wanted to come up with something that people would actually want,” Warhurst said.

“When you don’t have access to Wi-Fi, it uses up your data and if you go over your data package, it can cost a lot of money on your phone bill.

“This would make it so that you could have Wi-Fi anywhere you go. It’s something that people would really use. I know I would want to buy something like this if it existed.”

Crummie said that besides coming up with a pretty ingenious product, the experience was also educational.

“It really shows you that if you put your mind to something, there’s no telling what you could come up with,” Crummie said.

“We’re only seventh graders, but some of these things we came up with were really great ideas that could be big sellers some day.”

Gober said that was one of the main lessons he hoped his students took away from this project.

“When we are studying this economics unit, I want my students to learn practical lessons, like what a credit card is and how to use it responsibility, what retirement accounts are and why they’re important, how to manage a checking account, why it’s important to learn how to save, and what a credit score is,” Gober said.

“These are some of the most practical and useful things I think they can learn and use in real life.

“But with this project, I want them to know that the possibilities are endless. I am amazed at their ideas and I think other people would be too.

“When I see former students after they have moved on from my class and even from RMS, I’ve had many of them tell me that this unit is one of the main things they remember and that they are still finding helpful in their every day lives.

“That’s rewarding to me to know that some of these students are really grasping these concepts and will ultimately be better citizens some day because of it.”

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