Student’s invention lands him on ‘The Tonight Show’

| February 25, 2014 | 0 Comments
Jonathan Haller, a seventh-grader at St. Michael Catholic School in St. Michael, posed for a photo with Jimmy Fallon Feb. 19. After winning a young inventors contest sponsored by GE and “The Tonight Show,” he appeared on the show with two other winners. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Haller

Jonathan Haller, a seventh-grader at St. Michael Catholic School in St. Michael, posed for a photo with Jimmy Fallon Feb. 19. After winning a young inventors contest sponsored by GE and “The Tonight Show,” he appeared on the show with two other winners. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Haller

When Jennifer Haller answered her phone on Feb. 11, she was more than a little surprised to be talking to the producer of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

But she wasn’t surprised to hear what the producer had to say.

Haller’s 13-year-old son, Jonathan — a seventh-grader at St. Michael Catholic School in St. Michael, where his mom is principal — had entered and won a contest for young inventors sponsored by the show. His prize: the opportunity to introduce his invention to the world, and Jimmy Fallon, along with two other winners on the Feb. 19 show. The “Fallonventions” segment was sponsored by General Electric.

“He’s always creating new things for unique purposes,” Haller said. His invention, the “iHead,” is a device you put on your head that holds an iPhone, iPod or iPad so you can watch movies, read or chat with friends while keeping your hands free to do other things.

When he found out about the contest, he sat down at his desk and came up with a list of problems he faced in everyday life. “For each problem, I came up with a solution where I created something new,” Jonathan said.

Haller calls him an “artsy inventor,” saying this is one of many things he has created. “He has a unique way of seeing the world,” she said. “He has been blessed with a storehouse of clever ideas that show up through art, science and acting.”

Jonathan was flown to New York, along with his mom, dad Mark and older sister Kristen, as guests of the show. His brother Ben, a college student, wasn’t able to go along.

He got to experience rehearsals, wardrobe, hair and make-up, and was given his own dressing room with his name on the door.

“It still kind of seems like it’s all a dream,” Jonathan said.

“The most wonderful part of the entire experience was that Jonathan was selected and recognized and honored for exactly who he is and who God created him to be,” Haller said.

She credits his Catholic school education for encouraging creativity.

“St. Michael Catholic School fosters and supports this kind of thinking through its curriculum, professional staff and a variety of projects and events,” she said.

At the end of the “Tonight Show” segment, the three young inventors were surprised with checks for $5,000 each from GE.

“It’s a blessing to me that I got to do all this,” Jonathan said. “It’s just crazy to think that I got to go to New York City and go on ‘The Tonight Show.’ I got to show the world who I really am, I guess.”


See Jonathan’s invention

Web exclusive interview post-show

Jonathan’s video entry for “The Tonight Show” consideration (self-made footage)

YouTube Preview Image

Tags: , , ,

Category: Next Gen