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Bend Research announces Inventerprise Contest winners

Inventerprise entries Bend Research file
KTVZ file
Bend Research sponsors annual Inventerprise contest

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Lonza announced Tuesday the 28th annual Inventerprise Science Contest Challenge Winners. Central Oregon students had the opportunity to address the global threat created by plastic in the 28th annual Inventerprise contest.

The contest is sponsored by Bend Research, now a part of Lonza Pharma & Biotech, with support from Bend-La Pine Schools, Central Oregon Community College and the Riverhouse on the Deschutes.

“The excitement that the students bring to this contest every year is truly inspiring," said Dory Koehler-King, Inventerprise contest director.  "I hope that having this creative outlet for their ideas will encourage them to continue applying themselves to solving hard technical problems.” 

This year’s competition problem statement was as follows:

“Plastic, Plastic Everywhere. One of our greatest inventions is now a global threat. What will you create to address this problem? ”

The Inventerprise contest was open to all Central Oregon students in grades K-12, including home-schooled students. Entries were judged on originality, usefulness and development of the concept. This year nearly 1,200 students entered individually and in groups, and just over 160 students won awards. A full list of this year’s contest winners can be found on the Inventerprise website at

The first-place prize of $800 for High School was won by Mountain View High School reshman Logan Foley. Logan invented a drone delivery system for recycling cosmetic product containers. In this service, users send empty containers to be refilled using a phone application with pick-up and delivery service utilizing drones.

The remaining three High School projects tied for a $400 per project prize, with winners all hailing from Summit High School. Juniors Tanner Taylor and Owen Wheary invented “Plottery”, a recycling lottery that uses psychological strategies and incentivizes recycling. Sophomore Teaghan Knox invented a machine that combined breaking plastics into oil and providing clean water. Freshman Joseph Woll invented a river net that would capture plastic from rivers near the ocean entrance, with channels to allow safe wildlife passage.

The Middle School First Place winner was the team of Lilann Hammack and Xiola Romo, eighth-graders from St. Francis of Assisi School. They created a specialized filter that can be used to collect microplastics from laundry. This filter would use carbon nanotubes to help trap and break down microplastics embedded in our clothing to prevent them from getting caught in our wastewater streams. The impressive project included a model and scientific research to support their design.

For winning the top prize, each team member will receive an Apple Watch. Forty-one other entries were recognized as winners in the Middle School category and will receive specially designed T-shirts.

A total of 114 Student winners in grades K-6 will receive specially designed T-shirts and will be invited to a special Science Night presentation at Lonza’s Tumalo facility, located at 64550 Research Rd.

Examples of innovative winning projects from elementary school winners are listed below:

  • A group of kindergartners created a machine that allows custom colored designs to be made from used plastic bags. This would turn bags people would trash into useful customized items.
  • A first-grader expanded on a popular concept, a machine to remove plastics from the water, but left the pack when describing its classification system. Humans, otters and waste would be treated separately. Also, the machine sustained itself by burning the waste it collected.
  • A crafty second-grader suggested incorporating small metal pieces into plastic products so that they can easily be collected from the beach using magnets.
  • A third-grader created a new use for used T-shirts to replace plastic bags by connecting those T-shirts into shipping bags. The winning entry included a crafted prototype.
  • A fourth-grader had a great idea to tattoo fruits instead of placing the plastic sticker on them. The laser tattoo would print the barcode on the fruit to help eliminate the small amount of plastic waste they create.
  • An inventive fifth-grader repurposed plastic straws to create a bee habitat. Another fifth-grader recycled tires to replace the use of stretch wrap on pallet transports.

Teachers in grades K-5 whose classes had greater than 50 percent participation are eligible for the Tina McGeary Teacher Incentive Program. This program will distribute at least $2,000 in gift certificates among area teachers for classroom supplies or books this year. The program is named in memory of Tina McGeary, an Inventerprise contest founder and unflagging advocate of the work that teachers do for the community.

Additional information can be found on the Inventerprise website at

About Inventerprise

The Inventerprise Contest began in 1992 as an outgrowth of a business-education partnership between Bend Research (now a part of Lonza) and the Bend-La Pine School District to promote science education and enrich students’ educational experience. Fourteen years ago, Central Oregon Community College joined the effort by helping to plan and run the contest. New this year, the Riverhouse on the Deschutes has joined our partnership by offering up space for the contest. For more information regarding the Inventerprise contest, please visit the website or call contest director Dory Koehler-King at Lonza at (541) 382-4100.

About Bend Research, now Lonza Pharma & Biotech

Bend Research, a leader in creating value by advancing medicines that improve human health, is now a part of Lonza Pharma & Biotech.

At Lonza Pharma & Biotech, we provide contract development and manufacturing services that enable pharma and biotech companies to bring medicines to patients in need. From the building blocks of life to the final drug product, our solutions are created to simplify the outsourcing experience and provide a reliable and timely outcome. Our extensive track record includes commercialization of pioneering therapies and manufacturing of a wide variety of biological and chemical drugs. We continuously invest to solve not just the current, but also the future challenges, bringing the next medicine to life. Further information can be found at

About Lonza

Lonza is one of the world’s leading suppliers to the pharmaceutical, biotech and specialty ingredients markets. We focus on creating a healthy environment, promoting a healthier lifestyle and preventing illness, by supporting our customers to deliver innovative medicines that help treat or even cure a wide range of diseases.

Patients and consumers benefit from how we apply our manufacturing technologies to the healthcare, hygiene and fast-moving consumer goods environment and to developing preservation and protection materials.

Founded in 1897 in the Swiss Alps, Lonza today is a well-respected global company with more than 100 sites and offices and approximately 15,500 full-time employees worldwide (at the end of 2018). The company generated sales of CHF 5.5 billion in 2018 with a CORE EBITDA of CHF 1.5 billion. Further information can be found at


KTVZ News Team


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