Alexia Gonzalez, fifth grade student at Westwood, is seeing the success of her invention, "Ca-Brush." Gonzalez won second place in The Center for Gifted's International Torrance Legacy Creativity Awards for the 8-10 year old Inventions: Science and Engineering division.
Gonzalez's invention was also a finalist for the Bright Spark Invention Challenge in January at Chattanooga State College.
The International Legacy Creativity Awards celebrate the great legacy and heritage of educator and creativity pioneer, Dr. E. Paul Torrance, author of more than 2,000 tests, articles and books.
Gonzalez wrote a 300-500 word description and included 3D drawings and photos of all aspects of Ca-Brush. She explained that the invention could be a helpful way to clean floors more easily.
"We had a class project to create a Rube Goldberg machine and I had created a remote control car. Then I saw a vacuum commercial one night, and it clicked," said Gonzalez. "I sketched out my ideas and took the remote control car apart and attached it to a brush."
Gonzalez continued to make adjustments and added additional features before she was satisfied with her project. The end result features a motor on the back to make the brush vibrate and move, with an iron weight to help it move faster.
Similar to the popular self-moving and self-operating vacuum product, Roomba, Gonzalez explained that Ca-Brush would sweep the floor all on its own. "This product would be good for people who have trouble moving around and cleaning, like the elderly or disabled," she said. "This will allow them to clean while they sit on their couch."
Gonzalez's teacher, Martha Thomason, agreed that the invention could have the potential to grow. "The fact that she took the initiative to take apart an entire car and repurpose it all on her own makes it really stand out," she said. "It's just an idea that truly appeals to people."