A Barstow fifth grader is a finalist in the inaugural “Dreamvention” contest, hosted by Frito-Lay Variety Pack Brands, for a product she created for the school’s Invention Fair last spring.

Julia Luetje, age 10, entered her “Storm Sleeper” in the contest, which recognizes students’ boundless imagination and creativity in “dreamventing” solutions to everyday problems. Julia’s invention was one of five chosen from thousands of submissions from across the country. Those finalists will compete for America’s votes to win the grand prize of $250,000.

The “Storm Sleeper” is designed to help people with a fear of thunderstorms or who need to drown out noise to sleep. Julia’s inspiration for her invention was sparked one night when she created a pillow fort to muffle the rumble of a bad storm. Her design idea is pillows that are supported by custom fabric at the top along with Bluetooth speakers inside that play soothing music.

Finalists — who have already won $10,000 — saw their inventions come to life recently when MAKO Designs + Invent developed a prototype of their invention. Starting today and running through November 12, fans can vote on One winner will be crowned in December and take home the prize.

“My invention can really help people, not only if you’re afraid of storms, but if you have loud siblings, pets or parents who snore,” Julia said.

“Julia took the initiative to enter the contest on her own,” said her mother, Susan Bernstein. “To us, it shows her initiative, her perseverance and her belief in her invention. We really believe it could have an impact on people with sensory sensitivities and even for pets.”

Watch a video about Julia’s invention at

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: