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Portage Park Elementary Student Wins National Championship For Invention

 Natalie Correa invented a hands-free umbrella after getting soaked while walking her dog.
Portage Park Elementary Student Wins National Championship
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PORTAGE PARK — Natalie Correa is coming home from a trip to Washington, D.C., with one heck of a souvenir.

Natalie, a fourth-grade student at Portage Park Elementary School, won first place at the National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Exposition that took place Friday through Sunday for her invention of a hands-free umbrella inspired by a thorough soaking she got after school one day while walking her dog, school official said.

Natalie, who also won first place at the Chicago Student Invention Competition in April, isn't the only Portage Park Elementary School student coming home with a little bling.

Victoria Quiroga, who invented a way to automatically prop up a pillow and help her breathe easy, won third place in the competition. Victoria's invention was inspired by her own breathing problems, school officials said.

Natalie and Victoria — along with their teammates Charlotte Hastings, Emily Curiel and Anahi Mendoza — swept the fourth-grade Chicago competition to earn the right to compete at the national convention.

[Facebook/Portage Park Helping Hands]

A successful online fundraiser made it possible for the girls to travel to the nation's capital for the competition. The team toured the U.S. Capitol and visited the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum before the competition.

Charlotte invented a boot dryer after her little brothers drove her mother crazy by walking in their muddy boots all over the house.

Emily and Anahi worked together to invent the Miss Buttery Stick, which earned them honorable mention. The invention makes it easier for restaurant workers — like Emily's parents — to put butter on pancakes or waffles.

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