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Crutch Carrier earns Seylar students spot in state competition


Don’t be surprised if you see a group of innovative Seylar fifth graders swimming in the Shark Tank one of these days.

Competing in the Pennsylvania Invention Convention for the first time, Abigail Arnold Trainor, Melyna Doster, Sophia Ogden, Lana Ortiz and Molly Torrice came up with a simple solution to a common problem that landed them in state finals next month. Their Clutch Carrier provides a safe place to store crutches in public spaces, including classrooms and restaurants.

Made of two fabric sleeves connected by two pieces of elastic, the Clutch Carrier easily slips over the arms and backs of almost any chair. It keeps crutches off the floor, where they can cause a tripping danger. When it’s not in use, the carriers folds up so that it can be draped over the crutch hand rest while on the move.

Working since October under the direction of Seylar Librarian Christy Skogen during WIN time, the young ladies brainstormed several problems they could fix. Inspired by one of their group’s recent adventures with crutches due to a gymnastics injury, they settled in finding a way to store crutches out fo the way when not in use, researched the topic and pondered possible solutions. Like any good inventors, they developed prototypes that they refined through testing.

Finally, they created a three-minute video “elevator pitch,” which was submitted online for judging.

At the state competition, the team will display the Crutch Carrier, share a short elevator product pitch and answer questions from conference attendees and judges. And if they are successful, the team will move on to the national competition at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation.