MA, October 20, 2003 — More than 180 students at 10
high schools across the country are getting the chance this
school year to work on teams to create inventions that benefit
their schools or communities. These students, and their
teachers and mentors, are this year's recipients of the
prestigious Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams grants.
"In a time of tight school budgets and a national emphasis
on standardized tests, high schools are hard pressed to
fund educational projects that go beyond the basics of math
and science," said Merton Flemings, director of the
Lemelson-MIT Program, which sponsors the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams
grants initiative. "Our aim is to foster inventiveness
in high school students and encourage them to think outside
the confines of a standardized test."
"We want to show students that invention in science,
technology and engineering is a viable and exciting career
path," added Joshua Schuler, InvenTeams grants officer
for the Lemelson-MIT Program. "We're giving students
hands-on invention experience and connecting them with mentors
from fields related to their proposed projects."
2004 LEMELSON-MIT INVENTEAMS
Teams from public, private and vocational high schools across
the country have been named this year's InvenTeams. Their
proposed inventions represent the fields of assistive robotics,
environmental science, health and safety, and consumer products.
This year's grants recipients are:
• Agawam High School, Agawam, Mass.:
Pothole prediction and prevention device
• Arlington High School, Arlington, Mass.:
Automatic pedestrian crossing device
• East High School, Anchorage, Alaska:
Snow robot to monitor snow conditions and avalanche hazards
• Germantown Academy, Fort Washington, Pa.:
Barcode/printed word-to-voice reading device for the blind
• Gulliver Preparatory School, Miami, Fla.:
• Linn-Mar High School, Marion, Iowa:
Assistive robotic device for the disabled
• Norfolk Technical Vocational Center, Norfolk,
Va.: Ergonomic student backpack
• North Miami Beach Senior High School, North
Miami Beach, Fla.: Bathroom assistive device for
• Paso Robles High School, Paso Robles, Calif.:
Remote sensing water quality monitoring device
• Perry Hall High School, Baltimore, Md.:
Solar-powered water-testing device
THE SELECTION PROCESS
High school science, mathematics and technology teachers
applied for the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams grants last spring.
In the fall, 25 finalists were asked to complete second-round
applications honing their invention ideas. A panel of Massachusetts
Institute of Technology faculty and alumni, professional
inventors and engineers, and Lemelson-MIT Program staff
then reviewed the applications and selected the grant recipients.
The 10 InvenTeams will spend the next seven months working
on their inventions and completing working prototypes. Each
month they will file updates via the InvenTeams Web site,
to elaborate on their progress and detail their expenditures
and upcoming financial needs. A final report, including
a working prototype and documentation, is due by June 1,
In Spring 2004, the 10 InvenTeams will be invited to an
event at the MIT campus to showcase their inventions.
Now in its second year, the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams grants
initiative evolved out of the Lemelson-MIT Program's annual
High School Invention Apprenticeship, a national program
that provided a hands-on learning experience to individual
high school students.
ABOUT THE LEMELSON-MIT PROGRAM
The Lemelson-MIT Program provides the resources and inspiration
to make invention and innovation more accessible to today's
youth. It accomplishes this mission through outreach activities
and annual awards, including the world's largest prize for
invention—the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize.
The Lemelson-MIT Program was founded in 1994 at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology by Jerome H. Lemelson, one of the
world's most prolific inventors, and his wife, Dorothy.
It is funded by the Lemelson Foundation, a private philanthropy
committed to honoring the contributions of inventors, innovators
and entrepreneurs and to inspiring ingenuity in others.
More information on the Lemelson-MIT Program can be found