Farmingville musician headed to National Invention Convention

When 10-year-old Lino Marrero’s fingers were sore from practicing his cello, he decided to do something about it and an inventor was born. The invention is called the “String Ring” and it protects a string musician’s sore and blistered fingers so that he can keep practicing without a loss of sound quality.  

As a representative of Farmingville Elementary School, Lino was honored this past April as a “Recognized Inventor” at the Connecticut Invention Convention (CIC) and now has been invited to attend the National Invention Convention Entrepreneurship Expo (NICEE) June 1-3, in Alexandria, Va., at the United States Patent and Trademarks Office.

Every year, as many as 10,000 kindergarten through eighth grade students compete from across the state to attend the CIC in Storrs, from which approximately 650 finalists are selected based on the distinctiveness and quality of their inventions. Lino succeeded in each round and is now one of only 300 students nationwide invited to NICEE.  

The national convention is presented by the STEMIE Coalition. STEMIE stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math linked to Invention and Entrepreneurship (STEM+I+E).  The goal of this event is “to inspire tomorrow’s youth by creating a national showcase of those whose efforts embody America’s inventive and entrepreneurial spirit,” according to the website.

Fourth grader Lino set out to solve a problem he was experiencing as an FES orchestra student, but his vision is much bigger.

“With the String Ring, I hope to prevent kids from quitting their string instruments so we can have more future musicians. I hope to change the world by adding more music to it, one string at a time,” he said.  

He plans to apply for a patent and hopes to make it available soon in local music stores.

This was Farmingville Elementary’s first year of participation, thanks to the initiative of parents Karen Yagnaskek, Amy Mischenko and Jane Pfeiffer, who teamed with Library Media Specialist Tamra Velleca and teachers Jennifer Berberian and Craig Lambert. FES educators were delighted with the success of the program.  

“It was a wonderful experience to take part in this year’s Farmingville Elementary School Invention Convention,” Velleca said. “I watched the students work through the engineering process as they constructed, tested, and constantly modified their experimental inventions. I am so proud of Lino and the process he has gone through with his invention. He has truly embraced the innovator’s mind-set and continues to reflect and improve upon his invention along the way. He is developing a lifelong skill that will certainly stay with him.”