NewsLocal News


Young inventors from Kansas City advance to national competition

1 team invented new way to detect spoiled milk
Posted at 5:57 AM, Jun 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-07 10:19:34-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A group of high school students from Kansas City, Missouri, invented a way to detect when milk has gone bad — “Spoiler Alert.”

Isa Glover, Charlotte Hamilton and Gabriella Campbell’s invention won first place for freshmen and sophomores at the Kansas City Invention Convention in April.

Now, the classmates from St. Teresa’s Academy will take the Spoiler Alert to Dearborn, Michigan, for the Raytheon Technologies Invention Convention U.S. Nationals.

“We were all really in shock because we did not think at all we were going to win,” Campbell said.

But the team’s science teacher never doubted her students. Mary Montag be tagging along to travel to the national competition.

“Watching students become that engaged, it’s truly the delightful part of what we do,” she said.

The Spoiler Alert is a strip of agar-agar gelatin mixed with methylene blue the team places on the inside of a milk carton. The blue strip becomes clear when the milk spoils. The team hopes dairy companies will install the Spoiler Alert in their milk cartons so every consumer will know exactly when their milk expires.

St. Teresa's Spoiler Alert team is one of four groups from the Kansas City Invention Convention who qualified for nationals. They’ll all compete for a chance to participate in the global convention this week.

The Linda Hall Library — which specializes in science, technology and engineering — in KCMO hosted the local invention convention.

Linda Hall's public programs manager says the library helps connect business and education through outreach initiatives like the Invention Convention.

“Invention is where science, technology and society intersect,” said Matt Reeves, program manager.

Aside from the Spoiler Alert inventors, these teams will represent Kansas City on the national stage this week:

  • Grayson Moyer, senior, Blue Valley CAPS: Stream Cooler, a Bluetooth-capable television in a cooler, a one-stop, portable entertainment unit that combines traditional hard-wall coolers with entertainment features.
  • Gabriel Brooks and Anna Tiedt, eighth grade, St. Paul's Episcopal Day School: Recycle Pro.
  • Will Korus, sixth grade, Shawnee Heights Elementary Gifted Program: CatGuard.