By: Tracey Brenner
Lemelson-MIT hosted its eighth-annual EurekaFest June 20-21st, a celebration designed to empower the next generation of inventors by inspiring youth, honoring role models, and encouraging creativity and problem solving. Each EurekaFest Team, comprising high school students, educators and mentors, received up to $10,000 from the Lemelson-MIT Program to invent technological solutions to real-world problems of their own choosing.
Sixteen Teams, parsed into groups of four, presented their “pitch” to peers, teachers, and media in classrooms across the Stata Center at MIT the morning of June 20th. The young students, the most senior of which are now rising college freshmen, each handled themselves with youthful poise, enthusiasm, and eloquence. Teams actively displayed a product prototype during the presentation. Prototypes included, from Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington D.C., a safety device that attaches to a door to prevent it from opening in an emergency situation; from Elkin’s High School in Missouri Texas, an automated disinfectant system for high-end 3D movie glasses; and from the School of Dreams Academy in Los Lunas, New Mexico, a system for detecting and alerting parked police officers of impending physical dangers.
In addition to displaying prototypes, Teams also described the need based/market-driven iterative ideation and development process in which they engaged, and touched on some of the ways they executed key to-market strategies. For example, students described building a well-balanced founding team, raising supplemental funds, securing support from the community/stakeholders, and, in some cases, conducting patentability studies and pursuing intellectual property protection. Students also answered a plethora of eager questions from and offered tips and advice to their peers.
This Lemelson-MIT Program is an example of collaborative cross-disciplinary STEM education reaching to its highest heights. May it incite and inspire educator and entrepreneur alike.
MBBP client Bridgewater-Raynham Regional Highschool’s InvenTeam was one of the 16 high schools nationwide to be selected for a $9,200 grant out of 250 applicants. Through this grant, the BR team has invented a device that separates and stores the materials of single-serve coffee pods allowing proper recycling and composting.
Congratulations Bridgewater Raynham InvenTeam!