Lemelson-MIT

Lemelson-MIT (4)

Engaging young Americans in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) continues to be a key strategy to maintaining the United States' position as a global leader. Yet a 2011 report by the U.S. Department of Commerce found that nearly half of the U.S. workforce — women — continues to be a minority in STEM fields, holding less than 25 percent of jobs. The same report found that women hold a disproportionately low share of STEM undergraduate degrees, particularly in engineering.

The Lemelson-MIT Program is helping to address this gender gap, awarding — based on technical merit — three all-girl schools up to $10,000 in grant funding as part of the 2012-2013 InvenTeam initiative. Sixteen teams total comprised of students, teachers and mentors will pursue year-long invention projects that address real-world problems. Now in its 10th year as a national grants program, InvenTeams aims to inspire a new generation of inventors by engaging participants in creative thinking, problem-solving and hands-on learning in STEM.

"The gender gap within STEM fields can be attributed, in part, to the need for more female role models in related careers," said Joshua Schuler, executive director of the Lemelson-MIT Program. "Hands-on learning programs that reach young women and men, like Lemelson-MIT's InvenTeam initiative, ensure that we continue to grow our future pool of science and technology leaders and icons."

Proposed by public, private, charter, and home-based school teams from around the country, this year's inspiring InvenTeam projects include the invention of a life jacket for prolonged search and rescue, a bacteria-powered battery and an ozone water purification system. Through the InvenTeam process, students develop leadership, teamwork and technical building skills, while engaging with professionals from industry and academia in their communities as they develop their invention. Through their InvenTeam experiences, Students gain the skills necessary to be competitive and successful in both their education and careers.

"This year's projects, from inventions for environmental sustainability to those for health and safety, show that young Americans are not just motivated to invent, but are committed to improving the lives of others through invention," said Leigh Estabrooks, the Lemelson-MIT Program's invention education officer. "Our goal with InvenTeams is to help inspire both men and women to be future inventors."

Meet the 2012–13 InvenTeams

A respected panel of invention and academic leaders from MIT, the Lemelson-MIT Program, industry and InvenTeam student alumni selected the InvenTeams from a national pool of applicants. The 2012–13 Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams and their proposed inventions are:

East

  • ACTS Home Education Cooperative (Charlottesville, Va.): Wind turbine for traffic airflow capture
  • Beaver Country Day School (Chestnut Hill, Mass.): Automated robotic vehicular independence system
  • Ella T. Grasso Southeastern Technical High School (Groton, Conn.): Compost water heating system
  • John P. Stevens High School (Edison, N.J.): Life jacket for prolonged search and rescue
  • Nashua High School North (Nashua, N.H.): Bacteria-powered battery
  • Natick High School (Natick, Mass.): Ice search and rescue remotely-operated vehicle
  • Newton North High School (Newton, Mass.): Pedestrian alert system
  • Sturgis West Charter Public School West (Hyannis, Mass.): Marine mammal rescue transporter
  • Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (Alexandria, Va.): Emotive aid for combating autism

Central

  • LEARN Science and Math Academy (Kansas City, Mo.): Radio frequency identification system for medicine tracking
  • St. Ursula Academy (Toledo, Ohio): Pill dispensing organizational system

South

  • Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders (Austin, Texas): Pressurized produce preserver

West

  • Colfax High School (Colfax, Calif.): Construction layout tool
  • Girls Leadership Academy of Arizona (Phoenix, Ariz.): Drowning prevention device
  • Henry M. Gunn High School (Palo Alto, Calif.): Solar egg incubator
  • Los Alamitos High School (Los Alamitos, Calif.): Ozone water purification system

In June 2013, the 2012-2013 InvenTeams will showcase their projects at EurekaFest, the Lemelson-MIT Program's public, multi-day celebration of the inventive spirit at MIT.

Calling all young inventors

The Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam application for the 2013–14 school year is now available. Teams of high school students, teachers and mentors are encouraged to apply.

For more information, visit: web.mit.edu/inventeams

The Lemelson-MIT Program today announced Dr. Ashok Gadgil as the recipient of the 2012 $100,000 Lemelson-MIT Award for Global Innovation in recognition of his steady pursuit to blend research, invention, and humanitarianism for broad social impact. Gadgil is a chair professor of Safe Water and Sanitation at the University of California, Berkeley, and director of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, whose diverse inventions and sustainable innovations are helping those in the developing world to live healthier, safer lives.

Gadgil is a physicist by training whose unwavering curiosity and commitment to employ his expertise to benefit humankind has led to a string of inventions and innovations from safe drinking water solutions and a utility-sponsored energy efficiency program, to fuel-efficient stoves for displaced persons in Africa. He also works with stakeholders in beneficiary communities to rally support and increase adoption of his inventions. His innovative solutions, which integrate science with cultural needs, have helped an estimated 100 million individuals in dozens of countries across four continents.

UV Waterworks for Safe Drinking Water

Gadgil envisioned an affordable solution to disinfect drinking water in 1993 after more than 10,000 people in his home country of India died from Bengal Cholera. Gadgil designed UV Waterworks, an effective and inexpensive technology that utilizes ultraviolet light to kill deadly, disease-causing pathogens. The technology has been disseminated by WaterHealth International, Inc. (WHI) and is producing safe, clean drinking water at a price of just two cents per 10 liters. WHI’s water is affordable even to those making much less than two dollars per day.

WHI distributes the water through a pioneering public-private partnership, including a series of village-council owned clean-water centers that are built, operated and maintained by WHI. The village councils provide access to land and raw water. Maintenance, clean water education, quality control and optional home delivery are all funded through the sale of the water. The UV Waterworks technology and WHI have provided safe drinking water to approximately five million people in Ghana, India, Liberia, Nigeria and the Philippines to date, among many other countries, with plans for expansion to Bangladesh.

Berkeley-Darfur Stove to Increase Fuel Efficiency

In 2005 Gadgil approached an entirely different threat to survival – one in Darfur, a region of Western Sudan in a state of humanitarian emergency since 2003. The Berkeley-Darfur Stove, developed in partnership with nonprofit Potential Energy (formerly The Darfur Stoves Project) was born out of a request by the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, to reduce the fuel demand of those in Darfur displacement camps. Eighty percent of these displaced individuals are female who often walk for up to seven hours, three to five times per week in search of firewood, making them vulnerable to assault each time they leave camp. Gadgil, his colleagues and students, and the women of Darfur designed the stove after several trips to the region.

First produced in partnership with CHF International and later Oxfam America, the Berkeley-Darfur Stove is assembled in North Darfur by trained benefactors. Women and girls - the primary beneficiaries - are invited to demonstrations by those currently using the stoves to learn how to use the device safely and efficiently. The stove sustainably increases the disposable income of the household by saving 55 percent of the fuel compared to traditional stoves, and saves more than three-hundred dollars per year. As of late 2011, more than 20,000 stoves have been disseminated, helping keep more than 125,000 women and their dependents safe. The stoves are now being modified for use in Ethiopia where 80 percent of households use firewood for cooking, yet the forest cover has decreased from 50 percent in 1950 to five percent in 2005.

“Ashok Gadgil’s long record of inventive solutions to problems in the developing world is an example of how passion coupled with creative problem solving can have a colossal impact,” states Joshua Schuler, executive director of the Lemelson-MIT Program. “Dr. Gadgil truly encompasses what it means to be a global innovator.”

Inspiring Youth to Make an Impact on Mankind

Equally important to making a global impact for Gadgil is inspiring the next generation to innovate for social change. As a professor, Gadgil helps his students identify and pioneer solutions to important societal problems to ensure their research has maximum impact on the world. In Gadgil’s courses, students gain hands-on experience innovating solutions to improve the sustainability of resource-constrained communities, with the ultimate goal being real-world dissemination of the products and processes developed.

“Ashok is a teacher and mentor who has awakened and excited young, perceptive minds to the possibilities of using science to alleviate suffering and human impact on the environment,” said Richard Corsi, Gadgil’s colleague and a professor at the University of Texas at Austin. “His substantial efforts to benefit those less fortunate inspire everyone around him to want to do more for mankind.”

The Lemelson-MIT Program celebrates outstanding innovators and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention.

Jerome H. Lemelson, one of U.S. history’s most prolific inventors, and his wife Dorothy founded the Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994. It is funded by The Lemelson Foundation and administered by the School of Engineering. The Foundation sparks, sustains and celebrates innovation and the inventive spirit. It supports projects in the U.S. and developing countries that nurture innovators and unleash invention to advance economic, social and environmentally sustainable development. To date The Lemelson Foundation has donated or committed more than U.S. $150 million in support of its mission.

For more information, visit: web.mit.edu/invent/a-winners/a-gadgil.html

The 2012 Lemelson-MIT Invention Index indicates that young Americans are acutely aware of the importance of invention and innovation in their personal lives, and within the context of the nation’s economy. Yet most feel there are factors that would prevent them from furthering education in or entering inventive fields, posing a threat to the pool of future U.S. innovators and the country’s economic prosperity.

A Threat to U.S. Innovation

The annual Lemelson-MIT Invention Index, which gauges Americans’ perceptions about invention and innovation, surveyed Americans ages 16 – 25. When asked about how new technology like smartphones and tablets influences and impacts their personal lives, 40 percent of respondents said they couldn’t imagine their life without it. Americans also have a clear understanding of the role invention and innovation play in the health of the nation with nearly half (47 percent) saying that a lack of invention will hurt the U.S. economy. Those surveyed, however, may not be the ones to take-on the challenge; 60 percent say there are factors that could keep them from pursuing an education or career in science, technology, engineering or math - fields that yield invention and lead to innovation.

Thomas Edison Chosen over Steve Jobs as Greatest Innovator

Though part of the “Apple Generation,” many young Americans surprisingly chose Thomas Edison (54 percent) over Steve Jobs (24 percent) as the greatest innovator of all time, demonstrating that education around the history of invention exists in today’s curriculum. However, it may not be strong enough to inspire young Americans to make the leap into innovative fields themselves. When asked what other factors would stop them from pursuing innovation-driving fields, nearly half (45 percent) said that invention is not given enough attention in their school.
Additionally, 28 percent said their education left them unprepared to enter these fields.

“Hands-on invention activities are critical, but few too many students have opportunities to learn and develop their inventive skills,” said Leigh Estabrooks, the Lemelson-MIT Program’s invention education officer. “This year’s survey revealed that less than half of respondents have done things like used a drill or hand-held power tool, or made something out of raw materials in the past year. We must engage students in these types of invention experiences as well as provide a strong STEM education to drive future innovators.”

Driving Future Innovators

American youth feel that education is most in need of a new, inventive solution, more than other fields like healthcare, energy and finance. They also believe there are several ways to generate aspiring inventors by reforming learning experiences both in and out of the classroom. Fifty-four percent said including invention projects during school, or a creative field trip could be a solution; while 52 percent said simply giving students a place to develop an invention could do the trick.

Outside of the classroom, a majority (80 percent) expressed interest in education training courses to help them become more inventive and creative. Fifty-eight percent said an opportunity to participate in an invention-related national service co-op, such as a training program where aspiring inventors can “shadow” working professionals in science, technology, engineering and math would encourage aspiring inventors in the U.S.

Joshua Schuler, executive director of the Lemelson-MIT Program, supports such ideas. “These encouraging statistics show that young Americans have an interest in learning more about invention. At the Lemelson-MIT Program our mission is to celebrate and inspire invention. We invite communities to join us by giving youth access to role models and hands-on programs like InvenTeams to help them become more inventive in their personal and professional lives.”

Now in its ninth year, the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam Initiative inspires and empowers youth to invent by engaging students in creative thinking, problem-solving and hands-on learning. Granted up to $10,000 each, InvenTeams create and pursue a yearlong invention project addressing real-world problems such as energy efficiency and disaster relief.

The Lemelson-MIT Program celebrates outstanding innovators and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention.

Jerome H. Lemelson, one of U.S. history’s most prolific inventors, and his wife Dorothy founded the Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994. It is funded by The Lemelson Foundation and administered by the School of Engineering. The Foundation sparks, sustains and celebrates innovation and the inventive spirit. It supports projects in the U.S. and developing countries that nurture innovators and unleash invention to advance economic, social and environmentally sustainable development. To date The Lemelson Foundation has donated or committed more than U.S. $150 million in support of its mission.

For more information, visit: web.mit.edu/invent

Today, the Lemelson-MIT Program announced the 16 teams of students, teachers and mentors selected to participate in the 2011–2012 InvenTeam initiative. The Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam initiative inspires a new generation of inventors by engaging students in creative thinking, problem-solving and hands-on learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Each InvenTeam will receive up to $10,000 in grant funding to create and pursue a yearlong invention project addressing a real-world problem. This year’s projects include a natural disaster emergency relief filtration station, mechanical assist stair climber, and a portable medical support system. The diverse group of teams – including a KIPP charter school, Boy Scout troop,  4 – H Club, as well as private and public high schools – will leverage their distinct experiences and skills to develop their invention prototypes over the next eight months.

According to a recent independent survey conducted by the Lemelson-MIT Program, 45 percent of InvenTeam alumni are currently studying engineering in higher education versus 15 percent of the comparison group of young adults 17-25 years of age.1 InvenTeam alumni also showed greater involvement in academic extracurricular activities in high school (57 percent compared to 44 percent of young adults), and were more likely to hold a leadership role in an academic extracurricular activity (46 percent). Ninety-one percent of InvenTeam alumni were influenced to pursue STEM-interests by their high school activities, specifically, invention, robotics and engineering clubs.

InvenTeams helps prepare high school students to accept challenges and pursue their STEM-inspired career goals. In addition to developing creativity and teamwork skills, InvenTeams are encouraged to engage with professionals from industry and academia in their communities. Through such real-world learning opportunities, students gain the skills needed to be competitive, not only in education but in business. Motivated by these experiences, InvenTeam members will have the ability to contribute to the global economy through their continued desire to innovate.

“Providing students with multi-disciplinary experiences through invention has always been a critical aspect of the InvenTeam initiative,” said Leigh Estabrooks, the Lemelson-MIT Program’s invention education officer. “The impact of InvenTeams goes far beyond each team’s project and school year experience. It can be life changing for some, as peer-reviewed studies have shown leadership in high school extracurricular activities leads to higher wages for young adults.”

In June 2012, the teams will showcase their projects at EurekaFest, the Lemelson-MIT Program’s public, multi-day celebration of the inventive spirit, at MIT in Cambridge, Mass. In addition to the new teams, grants of up to $2,000 are awarded to select InvenTeams from last year to continue their projects and establish sustainable invention programs in their communities.

Introducing the 2011–2012 InvenTeams

A respected panel of innovation leaders from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Lemelson-MIT Program, and industry selected the InvenTeams from a national pool of applicants. The 2011–2012 Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams and their proposed inventions are:

East

* Bergen County Academies (Hackensack, N.J.): E-waste power generator
* Boy Scout Troop 703 (Brevard, N.C.): Ergonomic bariatric rescue system
* Cornell Cooperative Extension of Essex County/4–H Club (Westport, N.Y.): Bio-sand water filter
* Eastern Regional High School (Voorhees, N.J.): Ultraviolet water filtration and storage device
* Landmark School (Prides Crossing, Mass.): Desalination drip irrigation system
* Sidwell Friends School (Washington, D.C.): Gray water electricity generator
* S.S. Seward Institute (Florida, N.Y.): Portable solar-powered autoclave for sterility

Central

* Troy High School (Troy, Mich.): Mechanically assist stair climber
* Williamston High School (Williamston, Mich.): Offshore rip current alert system

South

* Clear Lake High School (Houston, Texas): Portable medical support system
* East Central High School (Hurley, Miss.): Solar dry heat sterilizer
* KIPP Houston High School (Houston, Texas): Air pollution absorbing paint
* Northeast High School (Oakland Park, Fla.): Natural disaster emergency relief filtration station

West

* Bishop Kelly High School (Boise, Idaho.): Portable assistive writing device with magnetic damping
* The Harker School (San Jose, Calif.): Aquatic thermoelectric generator
* Lynden High School (Lynden, Wash.): Self-balancing recumbent trike

Calling all Future Innovators

The Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam application for the 2012–2013 school year is now available at: web.mit.edu/inventeams. Teams of high school students, teachers, and mentors are encouraged to apply

Copyright © 2018 Prototype Today ®. All rights reserved.

|   Privacy Policy |   Terms & Conditions |   Contact Us |

All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Additive Manufacturing Today