Turtle Rock fifth-grader makes an appearance on ‘Ellen’ with astounding invention


OK, where were we?

With all Irvine schools closed last week for the spring recess, the NewsFlash team opted for a brief hiatus. But that doesn’t mean IUSD students weren’t making news elsewhere.

In fact, much to our surprise, a Turtle Rock Elementary fifth-grader showed up on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” chatting about his latest invention with the popular comedian and daytime talk host.

Yegor Polakoff, 11, had the presence of mind to offer a shout-out to both his school and his city on national television before unveiling “The Flying Sleep,” which prevents weary airline passengers from toppling over as they nod off. Yegor was actually one of three students who got a chance to showcase their super-cool inventions during a segment on the syndicated show, which taped in Burbank on Thursday, April 4, and aired the following Friday.

You can watch it here.

Yegor’s invention was first on display during the 26th annual Astounding Inventions contest, which encouraged Irvine and Tustin students in kindergarten through the eighth grade to brainstorm and build useful new products. The event, which has become a favorite for inventive IUSD kids, is annually presented by Greenberg Traurig LLP and the Irvine Valley College Foundation.