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Invention Ambassadors visit local schools
Established inventors to encourage innovation
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Three different inventors with one common goal - to encourage invention among the young - have volunteered to be Invention Ambassadors to schools in the metropolitan Buffalo, St. Louis and Boston areas. The pilot program is being conducted on behalf of the Lemelson-MIT Prize Program, a nationwide initiative to recognize, reward and celebrate American innovation.
The three inventors - Wilson Greatbatch, inventor of the implantable pacemaker, David Levy, inventor of the world's smallest keyboard, and Betty Rozier, one of only 6,000 women patent holders each year - will demonstrate their inventions, and talk about the creative process to students of Winchester Elementary School of upstate New York, the Runkle School of Brookline and the Probe Center of Florissant, Missouri.
"Young America worships the wrong idols," said Dr. Lester Thurow, chairman of the Lemelson-MIT Prize Board, "and it is important to show youngsters that inventors can be role models just as much as sports figures such as Michael Jordan." The Invention Ambassador program was developed to offer students real-life inventor role models.
Independent inventor Dr. Wilson Greatbatch, inventor of the implantable cardiac pacemaker, will teach "The Music of My Heart" to Winchester Elementary students during National Education Week (Nov. 17-23). Students will visit the barn (now a museum) where Greatbatch made the first fifty pacemakers by hand and will learn the principles behind the pacemaker. The students will also learn about Greatbatch's lifelong fascination with inventing, which has led to some 150 patents and the 1996 Lemelson-MIT Lifetime Achievement Award.
MIT graduate student David Levy will revisit Jay Sugarman's class at the Runkle School in Brookline, MA to evaluate student inventions. An independent inventor and winner of the 1996 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize, Levy began his inventing career at the age of nine and now has five patents to his credit, including a keyboard one-half the size of a credit card.
Betty Rozier, who with daughter Lisa Vallino launched a company to market their medical product protecting intravenous sites on patients, will speak on "The Inventive Process" at Carol Whiteaker's Gifted Class at the Probe Center in Florissant MO during National Business Woman's Week in late October. Rozier will show the class the various stages in the process of inventing the final product, I.V. Housetm and talk about problem solving as a key to inventing.
The Invention Ambassador Program is an educational outreach initiative of the Lemelson-MIT Prize Program, which recognizes, rewards and celebrates American invention and innovation. Part of the Lemelson National Program, the Prize Program each year honors distinguished careers in invention with a Lifetime Achievement Award; administers the largest single award in the world for invention and innovation -- the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize; awards the $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for inventiveness among MIT graduate or undergraduate students, and maintains the Internet's most comprehensive clearinghouse for invention information, the Invention Dimension.tm
For more information on the Invention Ambassadors Program, please contact Virginia Randall (212) 546-2359, or Laura Melamed (212) 546-1201.