LEMELSON-MIT AWARDS PROGRAM ANNOUNCES
WINNER OF ITS FIRST-EVER NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL INVENTION APPRENTICESHIP
California Student Krysta Morlan
Wins for "Cast Cooler" Invention
CAMBRIDGE, MA, NOVEMBER 16, 1998 — The Lemelson-MIT
Awards Program announced today that Krysta Morlan has won its first-ever,
high school apprenticeship award. Krysta and her invention, the
"Cast Cooler," were selected becuase of Krysta's potential
to excel in the apprenticeship and truly benefit from working with
a real-life scientist, engineer, researcher or entrepreneur. Moreover,
with her invention, Krysta turned a negative situation into a positive
Krysta developed the "Cast Cooler" to provide relief
to those who are forced to wear casts during the hot summer months.
Having worn a full-leg cast for almost a year due to surgery related
to diplegic cerebral palsy, Krysta knew first-hand how uncomfortable
casts could be. The invention funnels cool air into the cast using
a 9-volt battery. The battery energizes an electric motor, which
is attached to a plastic tube that fills with the refreshing air
and releases it into the cast.
"The selection committee for the Lemelson-MIT Apprenticeship
had strong views about the importance of the likely impact on the
career of the winner," said Richard Heitman, chair of the selection
committee. "Krysta's desire to help others through invention
and her enthusiasm to learn more about medical technologies greatly
impressed our committee."
The Lemelson-MIT High School Invention Apprenticeship is an experiential
awared presented to an American high school student (9th-12th grades)
for remarkable inventiveness. Depending upon the winning student's
interests, he or she will be paired with a leading scientist, technologist,
engineer, and/or entrepreneur - anywhere in the country - seving
as "Invention Mentor" in order to learn more about the
process of inventing first-hand.
Krysta's Invention Mentor will be Colin Twitchell, director of
the Lemelson Assistive Technology Development Center (LATDC) at
Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, and founder of Ergosport, a company
that produces adaptive technologies for recreational and sporting
Surprised and excited that she was chosen, Krysta said: "I
cannot wait to get involved in the apprenticeship. I am excited
to be able to learn more about inventing and benefit from the experience
of others. I would like to use the knowledge gained from the program
to work on future inventions, especially those that will help people
with special medical circumstances."
The Apprenticeship is designed both to reward and encourage inventiveness
by providing hands-on experience and exposure to a professional
scientific/technological environment. In addition, the Invention
Apprentice will servie as an inspirational role model for other
Krysta Morlan is a 10th grade student attending Vacaville High
School in Vacaville, CA.
Based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge,
Massachusetts, the Lemelson-MIT Program was established in 1994
by the late independent inventor Jerome H. Lemelson and his wife,
Dorothy. The Program celebrates inventor/innovator role models through
outreach activities and annual awards including the world's largest
for invention, the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize. The Program encourages
young Americans to pursue careers in the fields of science, engineering,
technology and entrepreneurship. The Lemelson-MIT Program is funded
by the Lemelson Foundation, which supports other invention initiatives
at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, Hampshire
College, the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance
and the University of Nevada, Reno.
Read more about Krysta Morlan.
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