November 21, 2018

Logan High School Students Receive Invention Grant to Create an Energy Management System for Prosthetic Limbs

Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam Initiative Inspires a New Generation of Inventors

La Crosse, WI October 24th — Logan High School was recently awarded a Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam™ grant in the amount of $9500 to create an Energy Management System for Prosthetic Limbs. The invention will harvest kinetic energy from human motion to generate and store electricity for prosthetic limbs. Logan High School is one of 15 high schools nationwide to be selected as an InvenTeam this year.

InvenTeams are teams of high school students, teachers and mentors that receive grants up to $10,000 each to invent technological solutions to real-world problems. This initiative of the Lemelson-MIT Program aims to inspire a new generation of inventors.

The Logan InvenTeam will design and build an improved charging and use management system to supply electricity to an electric vacuum pump in a lower leg prosthesis. This will greatly improve an amputee’s freedom by extending the time he/she can use the limb without being restricted to plugging it into a wall socket to recharge. The invention will have an energy harvesting module that converts the kinetic energy produced in a walking motion into sustainable energy using piezoelectric or electro mechanical technologies.

The Logan InvenTeam has partnered locally with Hanger Clinic and the Limb Lab of La Crosse and  5280 Prosthetics in Colorado. They will also work with local medical personnel and engineers who will guide the students through the development of their invention. 

“One of our goals is to provide an authentic engineering experience for students. However, in completing this project, they also have an opportunity to make a difference in peoples lives.” -Steve Johnston, Logan HS Technology & Engineering Department

Over the next nine months, the Logan InvenTeam will develop its Energy Management System for Prosthetic Limbs. In June, the students will showcase a prototype of their invention at EurekaFest at MIT in Cambridge, Mass. EurekaFest, presented by the Lemelson-MIT Program, is a multi-day celebration designed to empower a legacy of inventors through activities that inspire youth, honor role models and encourage creativity and problem solving.

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