Reaghan Cleveland, 8, is a second-grader at League City Elementary School. She’s also a genius.

As a little girl who likes to wear brightly-colored nail polish, Cleveland used to run into problems because she also enjoyed chewing her nails.

Solution? Create an invention called “cake nails,” which utilizes fondant icing to create a nail polish that tastes as good as it looks.

Cleveland is one of about 16 League City Elementary kids to participate in the school’s second annual Young Inventors Showcase.

“We did it last year and had a great time,” Principal Xan Wood said. “Schools have had science fairs forever, but we’ve found that when the kids have time, they’re always coming up with little engineering pieces. Why not give them an opportunity to create things?”

Other examples of youthful ingenuity include Ivette Guerra, 9, who, with the help of her father, created a sensor tied to a battery and a buzzer that goes on a bike and, when motion is detected behind it, say from a car, it goes off to alert the bike rider.

“I really like riding my bike,” Guerra said.

League City Elementary School’s event is part of the Houston Young Investors Showcase, which was started in 1988 by the Houston Inventors Association.

“It’s all over the area,” said Butch Graham, vice president of the Houston Inventors Association. “The top prize is that the top six finishers in the area get patent prosecutions from a law firm in Ft. Worth.”

The event came to League City Elementary last year after a former Alvin teacher told Pickering about it.

The top finishers from League City Elementary will go on to show their inventions at a Houston-area showcase, said Tammi Pickering, an instructional science coach at League City Elementary School.

“Last year a fourth grader got a $5,000 scholarship for her patent and a fifth grader got one for her invention’s name copyright.”

While other Houston-area schools participate in the showcase, League City Elementary School currently is the only Clear Creek Independent School District school involved.

“I’m working to spread this event,” Wood said. “I know there are other CCISD principals interested.”

Last year the showcase was open to the fourth- and fifth-grade students at League City Elementary School, it is now open to anyone starting with kindergartners, Wood said.

“This is a family project as much as anything,” Wood said. “It gives students a great opportunity to be creative. But it’s not done at school and parents have just as much fun with it as the kids.”

Contact reporter Matthew deGrood at 409-683-5230 or matthew.degrood@galvnews.com

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