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LEMELSON-MIT PROGRAM ANNOUNCES CLINTON GLOBAL INITIATIVE (CGI) COMMITMENT; STRENGHTENS INVENTION EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES FOR UNDERSERVED STUDENTS
Organization Seeks National Partners to Help Inspire a New Generation of Inventors

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. July 16, 2013 – The Lemelson–MIT Program, a nationally-renowned invention recognition and educational outreach program, announced it will expand its 10-year commitment to inspiring our nation’s next generation of inventors in partnership with The Lemelson Foundation.  This Commitment to Action was announced at the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America annual meeting.

The Lemelson-MIT Program will launch a Junior Varsity (JV) InvenTeam Initiative in Spring 2014, offering an unparalleled opportunity for underserved and underrepresented students in grades 9 and 10 to develop skills through prescribed design challenges.  Further, students will practice inventive thinking by applying those new skills to create useful and unique products.  Since the JV InvenTeam Initiative targets students and educators at high free and reduced-price meal (FRPM) schools, the Lemelson-MIT Program can provide skill-building opportunities to students in grades 9 and 10 who have the most to gain from future hands-on STEM activities when they reach grades 11 and 12.

The JV InvenTeam Initiative will be piloted in Massachusetts and Texas, with plans to extend outreach to California and the Pacific Northwest in 2015.  The program builds upon the organization’s successful InvenTeam Initiative, an extracurricular, aspirational grants initiative for inventive, high-school aged youth who have a basic foundation in scientific and technical skills.   InvenTeams – by inspiring and instilling confidence in participants – helps prepare students for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) studies and careers and promises higher earning potential.1

“We are honored to join the Clinton Global Initiative America, in partnership with The Lemelson Foundation, to support innovative solutions to U.S. economic issues,” said Joshua Schuler, executive director, Lemelson-MIT Program.  “Invention education programs like the InvenTeam Initiative have a long-lasting impact on future generations and are essential to building our nation’s global competitiveness.”

Added Schuler, “A well-educated STEM workforce is critical to our nation’s economic growth. The JV InvenTeam Initiative will help close the skills gap among younger students in communities that may lack hands-on STEM enrichment and opportunities to be inventive, which ultimately will lead to more individuals in these fields.”

JV InvenTeam members will learn how to safely use tools and explore new materials to gain competency in key STEM areas such as: forces, structures, materials, electricity and electronics. Inspiration for the content and design challenges, which will be implemented after school or during extended school hours, is drawn from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) community.  Key program elements include stipends and training for educators, inspirational multimedia content for students, access to the Lemelson-MIT Program’s network of experienced InvenTeams, connections to national partners and capstone events.

“The Lemelson Foundation is pleased to be a core partner with the Lemelson-MIT Program for the next three years in their CGI America commitment to inspire the next generation of inventors,” said Carol Dahl, Executive Director of The Lemelson Foundation.  “We believe all students should have opportunities to build STEM and critical thinking skills so that they can devise inventive solutions to problems in the world.”

The Lemelson-MIT Program is committed to expanding to 40 new sites and reaching more than 400 students and 80 educators per year by 2016.  The organization is seeking partners with interest in the K-12 hands-on STEM field to support executing and scaling the JV InvenTeam Initiative. Specific needs include:

  • Implementation partners with whom the Lemelson-MIT Program can work to create a long-term fundraising network for sites and prospective sites
  • In-kind partners who will provide tools and/or materials to sites
  • Mentorship partners such as science and technology museums or universities that can provide direct mentoring and host regional events

“The Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam experience extends well beyond the grant year,” explained Chelle Myrann, 2010 Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam teacher. “It creates an enduring inventive culture within a school and a community, and opens up a new world of possibilities to so many.  Former students have become legends in our community and incoming freshman realize the possibility to carry on the tradition of inventing. What was once beyond their imagination is now within their reach. I have witnessed its power to transform students and put many on a successful STEM career path.”

For more information about the Lemelson-MIT Program, the JV InvenTeam Initiative and partnership opportunities, contact Leigh Estabrooks, Lemelson-MIT Program Invention Education Officer at leighe@mit.edu.

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ABOUT THE LEMELSON-MIT PROGRAM

Celebrating innovation, inspiring youth
The Lemelson-MIT Program celebrates outstanding innovators and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention.

Jerome H. Lemelson, one of U.S. history’s most prolific inventors, and his wife Dorothy founded the Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994. It is funded by The Lemelson Foundation and administered by the School of Engineering. The Lemelson Foundation uses the power of invention to improve lives, by inspiring and enabling the next generation of inventors and invention based enterprises to promote economic growth in the U.S. and social and economic progress for the poor in developing countries. http://web.mit.edu/invent/

ABOUT THE LEMELSON FOUNDATION

Founded in 1992 by prolific US inventor Jerome Lemelson and his wife Dorothy, The Lemelson Foundation works to inspire and enable the next generation of inventors and invention-based enterprises in order to build a stronger US economy and create social and economic change for the poor in developing countries. For more information, visit http://lemelson.org.

ABOUT THE CLINTON GLOBAL INITIATIVE (CGI)

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date CGI members have made more than 2,300 commitments, which are already improving the lives of more than 400 million people in over 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $73.5 billion.

CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.

ABOUT CGI AMERICA

Established in June 2011 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, addresses economic recovery in the United States. CGI America brings together leaders in business, government, and civil society to generate and implement commitments to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, foster innovation, and support workforce development in the United States. Since its first meeting, CGI America participants have made more than 200 commitments valued at $13.6 billion when fully funded and implemented. To learn more, visit cgiamerica.org http://www.cgiamerica.org.

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1   United States Department of Commerce ESA Issue Brief. #03-11, July 2011

 

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