The Lemelson-MIT Student Prize was first awarded in 1995 as an annual prize that honored MIT graduate student inventors. In 2014 it was expanded to a national prize that recognized undergraduate teams and graduate students who had invented technology-based solutions in prize categories that represent significant sectors of the global economy: Cure it! – Healthcare, Eat it! – Food/Water or Agriculture, Move it! – Transportation or Mobility, and Use it! – Consumer Devices or Products. In each of the four categories, winning graduate students received $15k and undergraduate teams received $10k. The wide-reaching recognition that collegiate students have received from winning the Lemelson-MIT Student Prize has provided new opportunities and support for their work as inventors.

In Retrospect

While we are no longer offering the Student Prize, the impact past winners have had on the world with their inventions is immeasurable. We applaud their work, and will be celebrating all winners as part of a Student Prize retrospective that includes the Lemelson-MIT produced a documentary, Pathways to Invention. Hear from Student Prize winners and mentors as they explore the question: Are inventors born or made? See the trailer below, and opportunities to view the entire film will be made available upon official release. 

In addition, two important retrospective reports were created as well: 
Student Prize Winners and Their Impacts details the pathways of a few of our prize winners. Inventor Developmental Pathways explores the many ways that potential inventors may access the invention pathway.    

Student Prize cover               Inventor dev pathways

Summer 2022 Winner of FOUR Awards at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival

Check out the preview and stay tuned for the dates of the Premiere!
We are excited to share the news that our documentary, Pathways to Invention, won numerous awards at the prestigious Los Angeles Independent Film Festival:
• Best Documentary Feature
• Best Original Music Score
• Best Producer
• Best Director-Documentary Feature
It is an honor to have this incredible third party recognition. We’d like to thank members of The Lemelson Foundation and the LMIT team who pulled the historical content together, helped to select the participants, and worked with the producers. We’d also like to thank Maiia Mark productions for their vision, patience and persistence in creating a film that not only showcases the impact of our Student Prize program, but highlights the importance of creating the “pathway” for our young inventors.


"One of the biggest barriers in STEM is the gender gap and women feel shy – society has put them down so much – and don’t speak out. I just want to give girls encouragement and tell them not to be afraid."

Kayla Nguyen
2017 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize winner