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Students welcome inventor of ‘The Tree Guardian’ to Bellerose Ave

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Second graders in Northport-East Northport Union Free School District’s Investigate Gifted and Talented program met with an inventor at Bellerose Avenue Elementary School on Dec. 18.
Northport resident Joseph Merenda holds a patent for his creative invention, a special Christmas tree ornament called “The Tree Guardian.” The Tree Guardian helps to remind you when it is time to refill the water for your tree and helps prevent your tree from drying out while minimizing the threat of a fire. The bottom of the ornament hangs in the water, and when the level gets too low, the ornament alerts you by playing a Christmas carol. 
The students learned about the invention, tested its functionality and got a crash course on the patenting process. They were also able to see how the invention changed over time, from its earliest prototype to the version that had been sold in stores. 
“They had many questions for Mr. Merenda and enjoyed learning from a real-life inventor,” Brianne Furstein, one of the program’s facilitator, said. “It’s always wonderful to invite members of the Northport community into our classrooms to enhance our program and connect with our students,” Investigate Facilitator Fran Bertos added.