Waxahachie Global High students in engineering instructor April Moon’s introduction to engineering and design class are studying the difference between innovations and inventions, the importance of design documentation and the power of consumers.

A recent visit to the class from inventor Robyn Dyck, therefore, was timely.

“Having a real world example was the perfect touch just at the right time,” said Moon of Dyck’s presentation.

Dyck showed the students one of her Monty Roberts Special Edition Equiface Savers, a new product invented by Dyck and designed to be used on horses. She also displayed her initial sketches, patent paperwork, pictures of her prototypes, marketing materials such as magazines and brochures and explained to the students how her idea was born out of frustration when her horses suffered from cuts and bruises to their faces during long trailer rides. She started with sketches, followed by more detailed sketches with measurements, as well as research that included interviews with veterinarians. The next phase included the production of several different prototypes and although those first prototypes failed, Dyck said she pressed on.

Dyck said she believes everyone will likely invent something in his or her life. It is just a matter of courage and persistence as to whether or not they will move forward with their idea, she said.

Once Dyck had a working model for her invention, she secured material suppliers from different parts of the world and then filed the paperwork for a trademark and patent. Next, she chose a manufacturer and began mass production of the Equiface Saver.

Marketing and selling the produce is now the full time job of Dyck and her husband, she said, saying they travel across North America for months at a time, attending horse expos and shows and promoting the product. They were also able to obtain an endorsement from Monty Roberts, who is known as the “horse whisperer,” she said.

A 1994 graduate of Waxahachie High School, Dyck never received a college degree and said her journey has been “much harder” because she did not do so. During her visit to Global High, Dyck encouraged students to pursue a college education.

A longtime friend of Moon’s, Dyck is also the older sister of Waxahachie Global High student, Katy Roye.

“Having Robyn come and speak to us was not only a real world example, but also a personal one for the students here at Waxahachie Global High,” Moon said.

E-mail Jennifer at Jennifer.Howell@waxahachiedailylight.com