Lemelson-MIT’s EurekaFest Inspires

Lemelson-MIT EurekaFest
Lemelson-MIT EurekaFest

SOLIDWORKS had the pleasure of attending Lemelson-MIT’s EurekaFest, where fifteen teams of high school students, educators, and mentors presented their incredible inventions. The Lemelson-MIT program offers grants of up to $10,000 to student teams, called InvenTeams, to invent technological solutions to real-world problems.

Students from the SSVD Innovation Center created a system to alert first responders of people in distress in areas without cell reception
Students from the SSVD Innovation Center in Longmont, CO, created a system to alert first responders of people in distress in areas without cell reception
Students from Battle Creek Area Mathematics and Science Center invented an infrared anomaly detection system to prevent car accidents by reducing deer collisions
Students from Battle Creek Area Mathematics and Science Center in Battle Creek, MI, invented an infrared anomaly detection system to prevent car accidents by reducing deer collisions
Students from Battle Creek Area Mathematics and Science Center
Students from Battle Creek Area Mathematics and Science Center. Diego (left) passed the SOLIDWORKS Sustainability Certification

The InvenTeams were from all over the United States, with students from as far away as Hawaii traveling to Cambridge, MA, to present at MIT. Projects ranged from a Bluetooth stethoscope with a self-cleaning carrying case, to a mosquito egg agitator, to a system that alerts first responders to people in distress in areas without cell reception, to a fully automated chicken coop.

the Chattahoochee High School InvenTeam created an All-Terrain Accessibly Transport (ATAT) Robotic Wheelchair
The Chattahoochee High School InvenTeam from Johns Creek, GA, created an All-Terrain Accessibly Transport (ATAT) Robotic Wheelchair
The Dublin High School InvenTeam invented SpORT, a device enabling handicapped students to participate in the Special Olympics and play soccer or basketball
The Dublin High School InvenTeam from Dublin, CA, invented SpORT, a device enabling handicapped students to participate in the Special Olympics and play soccer or basketball
The Garey High School InvenTeam created Heart & Sole, a device to monitor the health of the diabetic foot to prevent the risk of future damages, including amputation.
The Garey High School InvenTeam from Pomona, CA, created Heart & Sole, a device to monitor the health of the diabetic foot to prevent the risk of future damages, including amputation.

Many of the InvenTeams had members who passed the Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate Sustainability exam, and teams from Fairview High school in Fairview, PA, and the St. Vrain Valley School District Innovation Center in Longmont, CO used SOLIDWORKS to design their prototypes. SOLIDWORKS is proud to be a sponsor of Lemelson-MIT student teams. Seeing all of the fascinating and thoughtful inventions and learning from the students was an invigorating and inspiring experience.

Students from Fairview High School invented a system comprised of a stethoscope and self-cleaning carrying case for clinical settings
Students from Fairview High School in Fairview, PA, invented a system comprised of a stethoscope and self-cleaning carrying case for clinical settings
Fairview High School students utilized SOLIDWORKS to design and prototype their invention, which allows doctors to listen to heartbeats via Bluetooth and prevents the spread of diseases
Fairview High School students utilized SOLIDWORKS to design and prototype their invention, which allows doctors to listen to heartbeats via Bluetooth and prevents the spread of diseases in hospitals.
SOLIDWORKS intern Marta Puig listening to her own heartbeat
SOLIDWORKS intern Marta Puig listening to her own heartbeat

Educators play a huge role in the InvenTeams. Every year, hundreds of high school level teachers apply for an Excite Award. Up to 35 finalists are chosen and win an all-expense paid trip to MIT and EurekaFest, where they can learn about the InvenTeam process from the current teams, educators, and mentors. They can also examine prototypes, attend professional development sessions, and get feedback on their applications. From there, the educators return home to their own teams and they develop a final application. In October, the 15 InvenTeams are announced and teams have from October to June to complete their prototypes.

The Northeast High School InvenTeam presented a mosquito agitator to disrupt stagnant water and make it difficult for mosquito to spawn and spread diseases
The Northeast High School InvenTeam from Oakland Park, FL, presented a mosquito agitator to disrupt stagnant water and make it difficult for mosquito to spawn and spread diseases
The SOAR Early College High School InvenTeam invented IRiS, an inexpensive proximity alert system to help pedestrians be aware of obstacles and dangers. IRiS communicates with cell phones via a student designed app to alert potential assault victims
The SOAR Early College High School InvenTeam  from Lancaster, CA, invented IRiS, an inexpensive proximity alert system to help pedestrians be aware of obstacles and dangers. IRiS communicates with cell phones via a student designed app to alert potential assault victims
The Dayton High School InvenTeam presented an fully-automated chicken coop.
The Dayton High School InvenTeam from Dayton, OR, presented an fully-automated chicken coop.
The Kealakehe High School InvenTeam created the Impaired Driver Electrochemical Alert System (IDEAS), which measures blood alcohol levels through a driver's skin
The Kealakehe High School InvenTeam from Kailua-Kona, HI, created the Impaired Driver Electrochemical Alert System (IDEAS), which measures blood alcohol levels through a driver’s skin

EurekaFest also hosts Master Teachers, a select group of experienced InvenTeam educators who provide peer-to-peer support for new InvenTeam teachers and mentors during their grant year. SOLIDWORKS was guided through the event by Master Teacher Ed Hernandez of Tustin, CA. Ed has been using SOLIDWORKS for years and uses it at school as well—the final exam in his Product Design and Engineering class is the Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate Exam.

EurkeaFest Teacher Appreciation Dinner
EurkeaFest Teacher Appreciation Dinner

After EurekaFest, InvenTeams, Excite Award winning educators and Master Teachers gathered inside MIT’s Stratton Student Center to have a dinner of delicious barbeque and show appreciation for educators of the past and present. Following remarks by Invention Education Officer Leigh Estabrooks, Lemelson-MIT Executive Director Stephanie Crouch, and Harvard Business School Research Associate and InvenTeam Alum Carl Kreitzberg, the educators were honored. The 36 Excite Award winners were recognized. The educators who joined the InvenTeams were called upon to stand, to thunderous applause from their students. And finally, the Master Teachers were called to the podium to receive awards.

The auditorium was full of educators and students
The auditorium was full of educators and students

Katelyn Sweeney, a mechanical engineer at OneView and an InvenTeam alum honored her educator, Master Teacher Doug Scott. She espoused Mr. Scott’s excellent advice to all the current InvenTeams: “Fail often and fail early. You learn more from failure than success.” It’s words the teams knew well, and knew to take to heart.

There are now seven US patents awarded to InvenTeam projects. With such exciting and motivated students, we can’t wait to see what the InvenTeams of this year and beyond have in store for us.

Students from Marina Regina High School in Hartsdale, NY, created a jacket that can flash LED messages to cars at night. They asked SOLIDWORKS if we wanted to say anything...
Students from American Passage at Marina Regina High School in Hartsdale, NY, created a jacket that can flash LED messages to cars at night. They asked SOLIDWORKS if we wanted to say anything…

Thank you to Lemelson-MIT, Leigh Estabrooks, Tony Perry, and Anthony Helou for inviting SOLIDWORKS to attend EurekaFest 2018. Special thank you to Ed Hernandez for his help and guidance. Finally, many thanks and good luck to all the InvenTeams and Excite Award winners who made the event what it was.

Sara Zuckerman

Sara Zuckerman

Sara Zuckerman is a SOLIDWORKS Education Contractor, Social Media and Marketing. She has a B.A. in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College and recently earned a Certificate in Web Development from MassBay Community College. Sara is excited about utilizing this blog to combine her two passions, writing and technology.