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Reinventing How Pizza is Delivered

Fire box inventor Inventing an eco-friendly pizza box that wicks away grease earned Amelia Lovell, a fourth-grader at Smallwood Drive Elementary School, a first-place award at the Western New York Invention Convention. The win also earns her a trip to the 2018 National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Expo in Dearborn, Mich. to demonstrate her Fire Box pizza container.


The Fire Box was born out of a comment from her uncle that pizza boxes were hard to dispose because of the size and not recyclable because of the food grease. Defining a problem is a first step in the invention process, according to Smallwood's enrichment teacher Pat DiGiacomo who has taken third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade students to the WNY inventor's competition for the past several years.


Amelia was one of 19 students from Smallwood who participated in the Western New York Invention Convention at the Buffalo Museum of Science. Thirteen of the students brought awards home.


Amelia's research for the Fire Box involved various materials such as silicone, polypropylene and magnets, as well as box design with hinges and clasps. She also researched the Fire Box's ability to maintain a pizza's temperature from pickup to home. Watch her video presentation. 


The regional competition, held annually by the Western New York Invention Convention, showcases kindergarten to eighth-grade students who have spent months brainstorming how to solve a problem and making and refining their inventions. Another category is the creation of an invention or reusing an item from Goodwill Industries. Inventions are scored on how well the product meets a need or solves a problem, creativity and value and overall presentation quality.


Students had to speak before a small panel of judges to explain how they developed their invention and the level of success their prototype invention had to solve a problem. They also had to answer questions from the judges. Top awards are given for Inventor of the Year, Director's Choice, People's Choice and Goodwill Industries.


Two student competitors in invention convention Other award winners were third-grader William Genau, first place; second-grader Jonathan Hart, second place; second-grader Whitney Appler, third place; third-grader Edith Trapp, third place; fourth-grader Lauren Hart, second place; fourth-grader Charlotte Hoffman, second place; third-grader Sofia Wieczkowski, first place in the Goodwill Inventions category; fourth-grader Kayley Gust, first place in the Goodwill Inventions category; fourth-grader Abigail Lamb, second place in the Goodwill Inventions category; fifth-grader Molly Duggan, second place; fifth-grader Cameron Tillou, second place and fifth-grader Eva Pisarzewicz, third place.