Two Holy Nativity students are recognized as Top Innovators in the nation


PANAMA CITY Fla. (WMBB) — Students in Bay County are being recognized nationally as top innovators. 

Two seventh-graders at Holy Nativity Episcopal School competed in the National Innovator Challenge and will move on to the next level.

“My name came up and her name came up, so I called her and was like have you watched the video yet,” said students Paizley Torres and Natalie Latham. 

That is Torres and Latham explaining the moment they found out they’re top innovators in the nation. With their seventh-grade class, both young ladies made prototype inventions. Which were submitted at the national level.

“It’s a nylon fabric and its foam pockets and are only on the top to keep you up in the water so there is never really a chance to flip because the weight is off,” said Torres.

Torres came up with her lifejacket idea after a family trip with her handicapped uncle. And for Latham’s invention, she wanted to help out her lizard Gibson.

“His nails have always been really long, and I’ve never wanted to cut them because we tried that with our bunny and it did not go well,” said Latham.

So Latham made a large mat to go inside Gibson’s habitat, which mimics a nail file.

“You flip it back and forth if he needs his nails cut or not,” said Latham.

For their science teacher Jan Dykes, she’s proud of her students and sees the real-world connections.

“They’ve made observations they’ve seen a need and they’ve created something to meet that need,” said Dykes. “And then they’ve done their research on marketing and what their target audience would be, they’ve gone back and refined.”

Both girls could see a future inventing after all their current success.

“I’ve never thought of it before I made the invention, but now that I made it this far, and looked into patenting and stuff like that, I definitely think it’s something maybe I would go into,” said Torres.

These top innovators will move on to the next challenge, the global innovation challenge, which will take place in September.

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