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Editorial: Find a good replacement for the inventors' fair

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We will admit being more than a little bit disappointed when we learned that Independent School District 196's inventors' fair would not take place in January as it has for as long as we can remember. The fair, at which fourth and fifth graders in the district's gifted-and-talented program come up with creations meant to address a need they see in the world around them, was always one of the highlights of the school year.

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The students' inventions offered a unique look at what is important in the mind of an elementary schooler. Every year it seemed there was an invention for organizing a desk, an invention to feed a pet and an invention for cleaning up after one.

One year there was an invention called The Poopenator, which all by itself pretty much justifies the existence of the entire operation.

We're not the only ones who are disappointed the fair won't take place this school year. The district and its elementary schools have heard from parents and students sad to hear they'll miss out on their chance to attend. Some schools, including Shannon Park Elementary in Rosemount, have responded by holding their own miniature fairs.

The district seems to have taken those reactions to heart, launching an effort to explore the future of the event. Next week student ambassadors from all of the district's elementary schools will travel to the district office for a summit. They'll talk about whether the inventors' fair should come back, or whether maybe there is a better event to replace it. A science olympiad has already been mentioned as one option. There are other possibilities, too.

It's a nice way to address the question, and we are hopeful it will lead to a good result. Whether its an inventors' fair or something else just as fun, we look forward to seeing something come back next year.

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