Magazine article Technology & Learning

Investing in Invention

Magazine article Technology & Learning

Investing in Invention

Article excerpt

What do a durable filtration system, a sensing cane for the visually impaired, and a solar-electric watercraft have in common? All were projects dreamed up by high schoolers and awarded $10,000 development grants from the InvenTeam initiative at The Lemelson-MIT Program last month.

"[This] is a fun and educational way to promote the value of inventive thinking and doing," says Leigh Estabrooks, the Lemelson-MIT Program's invention education officer. "The initiative challenges students to identify real-world issues and develop practical solutions that integrate science, technology, engineering, and math combined with creative thought."

"Since our students have a FIRST robotics background, they wanted to invent something that would complement their strengths--mechanical contraptions," says Tom Moser, Teen Technology InvenTeam. "After brainstorming, we decided to invent an adaptive grain dehuller for use in remote poor villages."

Students are encouraged to seek out mentor relationships with established community professionals. In many cases, local companies support InvenTeams' projects with additional funding and materials.

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"Citrus crops are a major part of the Florida economy, and freezes can cause devastating losses for farmers," says Troy Soos, Oviedo High School InvenTeam. …

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