Jacob Rabinow

Entering the engineering field as a Jewish man during the Great Depression, Jacob Rabinow was advised to seek another career—but his tenacity and love for inventing drove him to pursue his dreams. Rabinow was recognized as the 1998 Lemelson-MIT Lifetime Achievement Award honoree for rising above his obstacles and succeeding in a life-long career of inventing that benefited a range of industries and people.

Stephanie Kwolek

Stephanie Kwolek graduated college in 1946 with a degree in chemistry and dreams of becoming a doctor. Unable to afford medical school at the time, Kwolek went to work as a chemist at Dupont's research facility instead, ultimately saving more lives than may have been possible even if she had become a doctor.

University of Chicago Laboratory School InvenTeam

• The InvenTeam originally set out to design an automatic pancake maker, but changed the design concept because of the high cost of the appliance.
• The invention includes an off-the-shelf blender that is connected it to a microcontroller, a single-purpose processing unit designed to execute small control programs in real time, which allows the user to turn on and off the blender by email and text messages.

Norview High School InvenTeam

• The students developed the invention to enable clearer communication for 10 classmates with cerebral palsy.
• The interface includes a large press-and-release button and a user-friendly database of pictures, words, and pre-programmed menu choices.
• “The project has brought out the inventor in me, and now I just think about what I could make and what I can do to better the world,” Alicia Tillman, InvenTeams student.

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