More than 160 Central Oregon students earned awards Friday at the 27th annual Inventerprise science contest by creating inventions to preserve various species.
The top winner in the high school division was Summit High School ninth-grader Teaghan Knox, according to a press release from chemicals and biotechnology company Lonza, which sponsored the event along with Bend-La Pine Schools and Central Oregon Community College. Knox designed a nonlethal predator determent necklace that would protect livestock in low-income regions, which netted her a $700 prize.
Two other Summit students earned $500 for their second-place designs — ninth-grader Zoe Doden developed a micro-drone that could administer medicine to wild animals, and sophomores Tanner Taylor and Owen Wheary created a new bamboo species to fight deforestation.
A three-person Ridgeview High School team (seniors Ben Allard, Karlie Bunting and Isaac Rojo) shared a $300 third-place prize for a “Rhino Ranch” that would help decrease poaching through a healthier form of horn harvesting.
Bend-La Pine Schools and Bend Research (now a part of Lonza) created the Inventerprise contest in 1992 to boost science education in the region. Over 1,443 students from 24 Central Oregon schools, including private schools, participated this year.