Press release

MIT Hosts High School Inventors from across the U.S. to Showcase Solutions to Community and Global Challenges

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Today, the Lemelson-MIT (LMIT) Program hosts its 13th annual
EurekaFest event that showcases novel products developed by high school
students and serves as an example of the impact of invention education.
Fifteen student teams from across the U.S., including first time
representation from Kentucky and South Carolina, are convening on the
MIT campus to demonstrate working prototypes of inventions that address
community-based problems. EurekaFest is an annual culmination of the
Lemelson-MIT Program’s unique InvenTeams® initiative that increases the
value of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum.
The showcase opens tomorrow, June 20 from 2 to 5 PM in the Stata Center
on the MIT campus (Building 32).

“EurekaFest demonstrates the power of invention education to change the
way students see themselves, engage in the community and think about
their futures,” notes Stephanie Couch, executive director for LMIT.
“InvenTeam participants are over 40 percent female and many InvenTeam
students have gone on to pursue STEM degrees and career paths that have
put them well on their way to becoming the change agents of the future.”

For many participants, InvenTeams is their first exposure to a
real-world application of STEM knowledge and design thinking. The
InvenTeams experience cultivates the skillsets and mindsets that are
critical for helping students navigate an evolving economy and career
landscape.

Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams, one of the first invention education programs
in the U.S., gives students the opportunity to solve real-world
challenges they find meaningful. Over the course of an academic year,
students research intellectual property, exchange ideas, design parts,
talk with people in their local communities, build models and make
modifications as they develop working prototypes of their inventions.
Students cultivate leadership as well as technical skills though the
team-based, year-long initiative as they address challenges and
celebrate progress. Projects are collaborative efforts, driven by the
students with guidance from their educator and professionals in the
field who serve as mentors. The InvenTeam initiative fosters a
“learning-by-doing” team environment fueled by inquiry-based thinking.

Published research indicates women and students from underrepresented
backgrounds benefit from team-based learning environments and a focus on
real-world problem solving with the support of educators and mentors. As
a result, InvenTeams has demonstrated success in inspiring and engaging
these students to pursue STEM careers.

“For many of my students, the InvenTeams experience was their first
exposure to the practical application of science, math and engineering,”
said Katrina Hull, lead educator of Mckay High School InvenTeam in
Salem, Oregon. “As a result, students who hesitated at the idea of a
STEM career or weren’t aware of the pathway are now enthusiastic about
becoming engineers and are actively pursuing math, science and
engineering classes.”

The Lemelson-MIT Program annually offers InvenTeam grants of up to $10K
each for 15 teams of high school students, educators and mentors from
across the U.S. To be eligible, teachers must first apply and be
selected as an Excite Award recipient prior to submitting their
invention proposal for a grant.

EurekaFest events are free and open to the public. For more information,
visit: https://eurekafest.org/.

ABOUT THE LEMELSON-MIT PROGRAM

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

Jerome H. Lemelson, one of the most prolific American inventors, and his
wife, Dorothy, founded the Program at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology in 1994. It is funded by The Lemelson Foundation and
administered by the School of Engineering at MIT, an institution with a
strong ongoing commitment to creating meaningful opportunities for K-12
STEM education. For more information, visit Lemelson.MIT.edu.

ABOUT THE LEMELSON FOUNDATION

Based in Portland, Oregon, The Lemelson Foundation uses the power of
invention to improve lives. Inspired by the belief that invention can
solve many of the biggest economic and social challenges of our time,
the Foundation helps the next generation of inventors and
invention-based businesses to flourish. Established in the early 1990s
by prolific inventor Jerome Lemelson and his wife Dorothy, the
Foundation continues to be led by the Lemelson family. To date, the
Foundation has made grants totaling over $210 million in support of its
mission. For more information, visit http://lemelson.org.