"It was so exciting to see the progression to the final product; it opened me up to invention."

West Salem High School InvenTeam student Stefanie Gilles (2005)

The organization of a team depends on size and the familiarity of its members with each other. For larger, newly formed teams it often helps to assign concrete roles to members. More informal roles work better for smaller teams. In some cases, members can alternate roles.

There are a few key roles that can be helpful within an InvenTeam.

Student Leads
Student leads create agendas and run organized meetings. Two student leads are recommended per InvenTeam. If an InvenTeam does not operate on a formal schedule, the student leads can initiate discussion and assessment of the project whenever the InvenTeam convenes. Student leads may have to make decisions in regard to team resources; however, it is recommended to vote on any important decisions. The student leads could also serve as the communication liaisons to the teacher. These roles can rotate among the students, but it is advised to minimize delegations.

Financial Coordinator
This student forecasts future costs and keeps accurate, organized records of the InvenTeam's expenditures to facilitate budget tracking and expense reporting. The financial status of the InvenTeam should be reported at all official InvenTeam meetings. This role could be shared between two students; however, it is not conducive to rotations.

Public Relations Coordinator
This student leads communications for the InvenTeam. As a liaison for the media, his/her school, and the Lemelson-MIT Program, this student shares success stories of his/her InvenTeam. Tasks include sharing InvenTeam success stories to facilitate media opportunities and engage school boards.

Whitewater High School InvenTeam (2008)
Community Relations Coordinator
This student contacts businesses, non-profit organizations, and government institutions to establish partnerships that can help the InvenTeam's project move forward.

The teacher keeps the InvenTeam focused and regulates behavior issues if necessary. For example, the teacher could assist the InvenTeam in developing a project schedule or provide guidance when students are unable to resolve a problem. The teacher's role is challenging due to the need to both elicit individual creativity and maintain team cohesion and direction.

Mentors are skilled adults, such as teachers, parents, engineers, or business professionals, who share their knowledge in all areas from technical instruction to engineering principles. Each InvenTeam asks selected mentors to participate and help mobilize its project.