In February of 2020, the Greenon Local Schools InvenTeam held their Mid-Grant Technical Review where they presented the prototype of their animal-friendly net system that covers the end of drain pipes and catches litter and debris, stopping it from entering local waterways. It was only a few weeks later on March 13, that their school shifted to remote learning due to COVID-19. The InvenTeam was disappointed that they couldn't meet in person but that did not deter them from continuing to work on their project separately from home.
Lemelson-MIT helped to connect the team of five teachers and 14 students, 12 of which are female, to patent attorneys at Microsoft's #MakeWhatsNextProgram which supports female inventors. The #MakeWhatsNextProgram offered pro bono support to help the Greenon Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam file for a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The team's design is now patent pending!
“While our team is hopeful that we will obtain a patent for our idea, we are still focusing on our primary objective which is to make a difference in our community,” said Greenon STEM Teacher Tom Jenkins.
The InvenTeam certainly already is making positive impacts in their community. Congrats to the students and teachers from Greenon Local Schools for their perseverance and hard work on their invention and the U.S. patent application. We can't wait to see what's next!