Students demonstrate inventions

May. 27, 2014 @ 11:46 AM

Imagine a binder that is thin and light when you first purchase it but expands as your school semester continues and you add more paper. Picture a small, bullet-shaped object that protects anyone from misusing your gun. These inventions exist thanks to four West Caldwell High School students who completed the Project Lead the Way Pathways to Engineering Program this year.

Rodney Epley and Jerry Rivera created the “Better Binder,” which allows the binding to expand as students add more paper over the course of a semester. Epley and Rivera surveyed 282 people outside of Staples in Lenoir and found that among their frustrations with most binders are durability and papers becoming loose.

After creating a model of the “Better Binder,” Epley and Rivera said, they still needed to work on how the rings function. While the expanding part of the binder worked perfectly, the rings proved difficult to open and close properly.

Alejandro Ibarra and Jacob Woodruff created a new type of gun safety device they called “mag caps,” which can be loaded into the magazine or clip of a handgun or shotgun and keep the gun from firing because they do not fit in the chamber.

Woodruff said that some people do not want to use gun locks because they are not easy to use.

“I wanted to make something simple and easy to use,” Woodruff said.

In order to test whether the mag caps worked, Ibarra and Woodruff met with School Resource Officer Jeff Wolfe at Gamewell Middle School. He allowed them to test their invention in his office.

On Thursday, the students presented their projects as part of their capstone project to community leaders, family members and West Caldwell Principal Jeff Link.

Students were able to show scale models of their inventions thanks to the new MakerBot Replicator 2 3-D printer, purchased with a $2,000 Caldwell County Education Foundation grant awarded to teacher Nikki Malatin.