Two students from the
That's because a number of schools were damaged and destroyed in the tornado that hit their town on
That's where the invention of 4th-graders
Thompson and Waddle took top honors at
For the two girls, the competition was more than just fun. It was personal.
"My aunt worked at a daycare that was destroyed by the
Perhaps more telling is the description of "The Safety V" in a neon-green flyer handed out by the youths at their display during the exposition. The flyer describes when the two girls had to take shelter with their families as the tornado bore down on their homes and schools.
"Being down in a storm shelter is scary..." the flyer states. "We were terrified. Once the storm started approaching, we could see dirt and debris flying through the air. We heard the sirens going off and lights started to flicker we have used our experience with these deadly storms to create The Safety V. We want people to be prepared with the necessary essentials to save lives."
Brightly colored, reflective, hooded and padded, "The Safety V" also has attached a colored strobe light, an alert whistle, glow sticks, identification holders and other implements hopefully useful if the not-so-unthinkable occurs.
"We never want to experience another tornado, but if we do, we will be prepared much better in the future," the girls' flyer concludes.
In addition to their first-place trophies, the two inventors received
More than 3,200 students enrolled in this year's Exposition, though that number narrowed down to about 200 finalists, with a capacity crowd of parents, teachers, students and event judges.
The event is a brainchild of former teacher and
"It's hard to believe it's been twenty-five years," said
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