Amblyopia is a condition that affects vision and causes a "lazy" eye.
It can also cause those who have it to be teased by their peers because of a corrective patch that is worn over the good eye to strengthen the weak one.
This teasing problem is one that North Idaho STEM Charter Academy seventh-grader Alisha Davidson wants to end.
"I found that about three or four out of five kids with a lazy eye are treated with a patch," Alisha said Tuesday. "40 to 50 percent of pre-teens and teenagers (wearing the eye patch) have a chance to develop minor depression because of bullies, abandonment, all this other stuff."
Alisha believes it's time to forget the conspicuous eye patch and help kids in a more discreet manner. That's why she invented a prototype for the ACT — the "Amblyopia Cov-Tact."
"It is a simple, clear, gas-permeable contact that is dyed black in the center like a pupil," she said. "It is to prevent the strong eye from seeing but also so that kids around them cannot tell that they’re being treated."
Inspiration struck when she learned that two of her teachers have children who suffer from amblyopia.
"Their sons were treated with a patch and I think one of them did develop minor depression," she said. "He got teased and bullied because he was wearing a patch."
Alisha's combination of compassion and ingenuity earned her a top spot at the 29th annual Invent Idaho State Finals in Moscow last weekend. She and 15 of her young inventor peers will take their inventions to the National Invention Convention at the Henry Ford in Dearborn, Mich. from May 31 to June 3.
"I'm very happy," she said. "I feel like it will help a lot of people if it does get made into production. I'm trying to do more research to make sure there's nothing like it, but I haven't found it yet."
More than 125 students from across the state, including 65 from North Idaho, participated in the science-centric competition. Invent Idaho teaches students to apply creativity and critical thinking to solving problems, crafting inventions, developing games and more. The categories are: working models; non-working models; adaptations; gadgets and games; and Jules Verne, a category reserved for inventions that require science that has not yet been developed.
"The quality of inventions this year was outstanding," said Invent Idaho state director Beth Brubaker. "Our future is in good hands with such amazing young inventors and problem solvers."
Brubaker said eight young inventors in grade 1-2 will enter nationals online and six were invited to display their inventions at the University of Idaho’s EXPO for senior College of Engineering Design students.
Here are Kootenai County's winners of the 2018 Invent Idaho State Finals:
Alisha Davidson, grade 7-8, North Idaho STEM Charter Academy: "Amblyopia Cov-Tact"
Grace Stevens and Ben Stevens, grade 3-4, Hayden Meadows: "The Spinal Speedway"
Amiah Van Hill, grade 1-2, Hayden Meadows: "Super Writer"
Aurora Rodrigues, grade 1-2, Mullan Trail: "Mag Socks & Shoes"
Grace Ferguson, grade 7-8, North Idaho STEM Charter Academy: "The Rollin' Wipers"
Eva Bell, grade 1-2, Mullan Trail: "Liquid Foot Pad"
Gadgets and Games
Kennedy Simkins, grade 1-2, Mullan Trail: "RecyIceLand"
Lucas Anello, grade 3-4, Ponderosa: "Discover the Villain"
Cody George, grade 7-8, STEM Charter Academy: "Star Wars Droid Wrath"
Sophia Stewart, grade 3-4, Prairie View: "Zoo Snafu"
Lakyla Norlander and Samantha Harding, grade 5-6, Garwood: "Stateabrain"
Isabella Brinson, grade 5-6, Atlas: "Save Princess Nerd"
Lucas Chapman, grade 1-2, Ramsey: "Exercise H-O-R-S-E"
Charles "Wryder" Stone, grade 1-2, LAM Christian Academy: "Lunchbox House"
Quinn Holt, grade 3-4, Winton: "The Wireless Energy Transmitter"
Cal McDevitt, grade 3-4, Sorensen: "Space Diamond Vacuum"
Haileigh Alban, grade 5-6, Dalton: "Robotic Dishwasher"
Kelby Lively and Kaelyn Howard, grade 1-2, Hayden Meadows: "The Communication Cap"
Ciarra Jones, grade 5-6, Garwood: "Disco Candy Cannonball"
Vincent Grangaard, grade 7-8, Lakeland Junior High: "Shower Sling"
Tess Fallquist, grade 3-4, North Idaho STEM Charter Academy: "The Store Map App"
Dallin Stephens, grade 1-2, Skyway: "Dog Bowl Helper"
Zoey Fletcher, grade 1-2, Mullan Trail: "Train Sleepy Helper"
Skyla Taylor, grade 7-8, North Idaho STEM Charter Academy: "No Click Stick"
Mya Donnell, grade 3-4, Borah: "Portable Pet Cooler"
Savannah Mortensen, grade 1-2, Mullan Trail: "Bar Gloves"
Best of category:
Samantha Schroeder, grade 7-8, STEM Charter Academy: "Invasoway" (non-working models)
Best of show grades 5-8:
Lauren Stephens, grade 5-6, Skyway: "Quick Fix" (adaptations)
People's choice award and best of category:
Addison Forsman, grade 3-4, Garwood: "Winter Warmer" (working models)