RAVENNA Ohio (WJW) – Challenged in fourth grade with identifying a problem and finding a solution, Ava-Elizabeth Bell started with car theft.

“Each year in the United States there are over 800,000 car thefts,” said Bell.

Her solution made a most interesting correlation using the defense mechanism of an octopus to deter car thieves

“I came up with my own ink formula and it would shoot ink at the windshield so the thief can’t see, but then I realized that this was too messy,” said Bell.

After two years of refining the idea, Bell created what she calls Octo-D 2.0, an electrochromic film that makes a windshield transparent while the car is running but opaque and impossible to see through when the car is parked.

“It has a car fob that works like your regular car keys. You walk away from your car and the film turns on so the thieves can’t see into the car,” said Bell.

She also says the same technology can be used to deter smash-and-grab thieves.

“With my technology, the thief can’t see what’s in the car so it would be a waste of their time to try and do it because they don’t even know if there’s anything in it,” she said.

The invention earned a first place award at the National Invention Convention in Michigan earlier this month and a patent application.

“There’s 331 inventions there so you are sitting there and you hear her name called and you are just so proud and cheering and then you are called again and again and I think we were all beside ourselves,” said Ava’s mother, Valerie Cubon-Bell.

Bell says the patent process could take as long as two years to complete, but after it is done, the 11-year-old hopes to pitch the invention to car companies.

“That’s just something that feels great to imagine, thinking that something I came up with could be something that other people would use and would help their everyday lives,” said Bell.