October 14, 2015

14 Student Teams Nationwide Address Social and Environmental Issues through Invention

The Lemelson-MIT Program awarded 14 teams of high school students up to $10,000 each in grant funding today as part of its 2015–2016 InvenTeam initiative to inspire young people to solve real-world problems through invention. Guided by the principle that invention can solve many of the biggest social and economic challenges of our time, this year’s students are working on inventions that address problems they’ve recognized in their local communities and those with global impact. Some of the student teams are developing inventions that address water consumption in California and multiple teams are inventing to help improve the lives of others around the world.

“InvenTeams were selected across the nation from technology schools, magnet schools and an all-girls school,” said Leigh Estabrooks, invention education officer for the Lemelson-MIT Program. “Invention can happen anywhere, by anyone. We’re excited to see the teams’ inventions come to life throughout the year.”

The 2015–2016 InvenTeams, representing schools nationwide, comprised of students, teachers and community mentors, will pursue year-long invention projects. The InvenTeam initiative aims to inspire a new generation of inventors by engaging students in creative thinking, problem-solving and hands-on learning opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“High school students are proving that they can identify problems worth solving and develop impactful inventions,” said Joshua Schuler, executive director of the Lemelson-MIT Program. “This year’s InvenTeams are addressing pressing societal needs and striving to solve problems they see in their communities and the world.” 

Proposed invention projects from the 2015–2016 InvenTeams include a faucet-mounted water meter with adjustable aerator, a power lift for people with disabilities to board boats and a thermoelectric generator for biomass stoves.

Meet the 2015–2016 InvenTeams
A respected panel of invention and academic leaders from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Lemelson-MIT Program, industry and InvenTeam student alumni selected this year’s InvenTeams from a national pool of applicants. The 2015–2016 Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams and their proposed inventions are:2015-2016 Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams Projects Infographic2015-2016 Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams Projects Infographic

Aiding Others

  • Berlin High School (Cherry Plain, N.Y.): Lever-based launch and retrieval device to aid in physical therapy
  • Gulfport High School (Gulfport, Miss.): Power lift for people with disabilities to board boats on the Gulf of Mexico
  • Ulster BOCES (New Paltz, N.Y.): Robotic exoskeleton to aid hand paralysis control and recovery
  • Williamston High School (Williamston, Mich.): Locker access device to help children with neurodevelopmental disabilities in schools

Inventing Green

  • The Archer School for Girls (Los Angeles, Calif.): Faucet-mounted water meter with adjustable aerator
  • Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences (Santa Monica, Calif.): Real-time household water consumption meter
  • Landmark School (Beverly, Mass.): Device to replant eelgrass in marine biomes
  • Stockbridge High School (Stockbridge, Mich.): Underwater sensing and reporting system of lamprey larvae in lakes
  • West Salem High School (Salem, Ore.): Thermoelectric generator for biomass stoves

Safety First

  • KIPP Sunnyside High School (Houston, Texas): Pothole remediation process for Texas roads
  • McMinnville High School (McMinnville, Ore.): Raised platform for disaster relief shelters
  • Norwood High School (Norwood, Mass.): Retractable awning to prevent and clear snow build up from roofs for Massachusetts
  • Riverpoint Academy (Spokane, Wash.): Power generating exhaust system for improving indoor air quality
  • Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (Alexandria, Va.): Precise tourniquet for improving safety during emergency situations

The 2015–2016 InvenTeams will showcase their projects at EurekaFest™ in June 2016. EurekaFest is the Lemelson-MIT Program’s multi-day celebration of the inventive spirit at MIT in Cambridge, Mass.

Calling All Young Inventors!
The Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam application for the 2016–2017 school year is now available here.  Teams of high school students, teachers and mentors are encouraged to apply now through March 7, 2016.