WATCH VIDEO | Cambria Heights students earn national invention … –

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PATTON, Pa. – In a span of two weeks, two Cambria Heights Middle School students, Logan Ivory and Luke Holtz, created an invention that not only advanced through the regional Invention Convention but landed them an award at the national level as well.

Earlier in June, the two won a patent at the Raytheon Technologies Invention Convention that’s sponsored by The Henry Ford for their package access tool or “PAT.”

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The handheld tool has a button to release a ceramic blade on the bottom that’ll safely slice through tape on a box as well as an edge for scraping off shipping labels or other stickers and a slit for cutting clothing tags.

“We keep updating it more and more,” 14-year-old Ivory said.

He was approached by gifted and Technology Student Association co-advisor Michele Schirf about entering the regional contest and brought longtime friend Holtz into it.

The pair have an interest in 3D printing and that’s where they started with their invention.

Holtz, 13, said they did research and found that since the COVID-19 pandemic there’s been an increase in online shopping.

That leads to people opening packages with knives, box cutters and scissors, which the students characterize as sometimes being used unsafely.

“We wanted to make a safer, easier way,” Holtz said.

Through hours of collaboration, the pair came up with their package access tool and presented it to the resounding approval of the judges.

The boys were among more than 70 award-winning inventors from across the country with more than 166,000 kindergarten through 12th grade students participating in Invention Convention Worldwide programs annually.

Students must pass through local and regional levels before advancing to the national competition and complete a video presentation, supply a prototype and inventor’s logbook of their journey, as well as a poster board highlighting key points.

Ivory and Holtz said there was a ton of research that went into their tool to make sure it was original and that effort won them the Cooley Patent Application Award.

Cooley LLC is a worldwide intellectual property attorney and the prize is worth more than $10,000 in pro-bono work from the law firm.

“Winning the patent was unbelievable,” Ivory said.

Holtz added that he was in no way expecting to win but was excited to get the award.

The boys’ mothers were just as shocked by the award and joined their sons in Dearborn, Michigan, for the national event.

“This whole experience was amazing,” Ivory’s mother, Stephanie, said.

Holtz’s mom, Jackie, agreed.

The parents said they were impressed by the design and engineering process the students underwent and noted how great it was to see their excitement about the work.

Jackie Holtz also commended the contest venue of The Henry Ford, that includes the Henry Ford Museum of American Invention, Ford Rogue Factory, Benson Ford Research Center and Henry Ford Academy.

“Just experiencing everything was winning,” Jackie Holtz said.

Rachel Manack, Cambria Heights TSA co-adviser, said the teens’ work has “developed into something really exciting.”

She also attended the convention with them and despite being impressed by their work was not expecting such a grand result.

“It was neat to just watch them go through that process,” Manack said.

Now that the award has been secured, the TSA adviser said the end-goal is for the package access tool to get a full patent, which the law firm will help with.

Even if the that doesn’t come to fruition, Holtz and Ivory plan to continue producing PAT, soon in different colors and in right-hand or left-hand orientations, and are working on a website to sell the tool.

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