Studying these cells could lead to new treatments for diseases ranging from gastrointestinal disease to diabetes.
Teams of students at 10 U.S. high schools will create inventions that benefit their schools or communities using grants from the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams program.
Science, mathematics and technology teachers applied for the grants last spring. A panel of MIT faculty and alumni, inventors, engineers and Lemelson-MIT Program staff selected the grant recipients from 25 finalists.
This year's recipients and their proposed inventions are:
--A pothole prediction and prevention device (Agawam High School, Agawam, Mass.)
--An automatic pedestrian crossing device (Arlington High School, Arlington, Mass.)
--A robot to monitor snow conditions and avalanche hazards (East High School, Anchorage, Alaska)
--A Braille-to-voice assistive device (Germantown Academy, Fort Washington, Pa.)
--Inspection-friendly luggage (Gulliver Preparatory School, Miami)
--An assistive robotic device for the disabled (Linn-Mar High School, Marion, Iowa)
--An ergonomic student backpack (Norfolk Technical Vocational Center, Norfolk, Va.)
--A bathroom assistive device for the elderly (North Miami Beach Senior High School, North Miami Beach, Fla.)
--A remote-sensing air quality monitoring device (Paso Robles High School, Paso Robles, Calif.)
--A solar-powered water-testing device (Perry Hall High School, Baltimore)
The teams will design and build prototypes during the next seven months and showcase their inventions at MIT next spring. They will provide monthly updates at http://web.mit.edu/invent/www/InvenTeam.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 22, 2003.