Young Inventor of School Binder Strap Receives Act of Excellence

They say necessity is the mother of invention, and a Sioux Falls sixth grader really, really needed a way to carry the three-ring binder that held her middle-school books and papers.
Allie Weber, who celebrated her 12th birthday on May 4 and who already has earned quite a reputation as an inventor, went to work on that problem last fall when she learned that Edison Middle School doesn’t let students carry backpacks into classrooms. Since most students at the school carried their books and papers in large three-ring binders that zip shut, Allie found a way to fit her binder with straps from an old backpack.
The original binder only had one flimsy strap, and Allie said that wasn’t good for posture and wasn’t sturdy enough for extended use. She did online research and learned that carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder is especially bad for a young, still-developing spine. So she took straps from an old backpack and created a two-shoulder removable strap for the binder. According to the Argus Leader, she calls the invention the “Got Your Back Binder Strap.’’
When she wears the binder with the straps she created, the loaded binder rests easily against her back. She told the newspaper, “I just figured out how to make a binder into a backpack without breaking school rules.’’
Chiropractor Trent Gusso, who reviewed Allie’s proposed design, told the Argus Leader that each year South Dakota chiropractors promote the correct way to wear backpacks and the awareness that too-heavy packs can cause problems for children. He said Allie’s design correctly distributes the binder’s weight on both shoulders.
Allie’s mother, Kara, is understandably proud of her daughter’s creativity.
“Allie is a prolific inventor and has a patent pending invention called the Frost Stopper, for which she won an invention competition last year,’’ Kara Weber said. “This year she has entered five online competitions for various inventions and innovations. She has gotten a runner-up and an honorable mention for two. Two more will be announced in June.’’
Kara Weber said Allie has used her invented binder all year.
“All of her friends want one,’’ she said. “It broke down once eight months in, so she had to do a grommet upgrade. The company that made the binder she designed her strap around is looking into the possibility of producing it.’’

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