Archive for October 20th, 2010


Lemelson-MIT awards support “stem”

Fourteen high school teams from across the country, comprised of students, teachers and mentors, were awarded up to $10,000 InvenTeam grants to create technology solutions to real-world problems.

In the eighth year of this initiative, the Lemelson-MIT Program aims to inspire a new generation of inventors, as it supports STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education.

One of the teams, the Kell High School Robotics Team, was awarded a $10,000 grant to create ORCA, an Oil Recovery & CApture robot. This team is supported by ASME and is mentored by ASME staff member RuthAnn Bigley.

Kell High School is one of 14 high schools nationwide to be selected as an InvenTeam winners this year. A panel of judges comprised of educators, researchers, staff and alumni from MIT, as well as former Lemelson-MIT Program Award winners and innovation industry leaders, selected the InvenTeams from a national pool of applicants based on the technical merits of their proposals for useful and unique devices.

Members of the 2010 – 2011 Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam initiative are drawn from public high schools in rural, suburban and urban communities; those schools and their proposed inventions are:

  • Berlin High School (Cherry Plain, N.Y.): Alert device for hearing-impaired athletes
  • Smithtown High School West (Smithtown, N.Y.): Solar tracker for a compact, portable, affordable solar charging unit
  • Central Bloom High School (Chicago Heights, Ill.): Collection and recycling device for vegetable oil at restaurants
  • Eureka Springs High School (Eureka Springs, Ark.): Search and rescue cane with GPS, light source and sound mechanism
  • Green Bay Southwest High School (Green Bay, Wis.): Portable hydroelectric supply station
  • Kings High School (Kings Mills, Ohio): Portable, low-cost, hydroelectric generator for developing countries
  • Northbrook High School (Houston, Texas): Energy-efficient cooling blanket
  • Omaha North High School Magnet (Omaha, Neb.): Sustainable cooking system for developing countries
  • Pike Central High School (Petersburg, Ind.): Lightweight, portable emergency shelter


  • Carlton J. Kell High School (Marietta, Ga.): Remotely-operated oil removal watercraft
  • Suncoast High School (Riviera Beach, Fla.): Durable, efficient wave energy conversion system


  • Tehachapi High School (Tehachapi, Calif.): Low-cost, durable shoes for remote villagers in developing countries
  • West High School (Salt Lake City, Utah): Autonomous, solar-powered robot to locate unexploded weaponry
  • West Salem High School (Salem, Ore.): Pressure sensitive grip for writing utensils

In June 2011, after working through the various stages of design and prototype development throughout the school year, InvenTeams will showcase their projects at EurekaFest, a multi-day celebration of the inventive spirit, presented by the Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) campus in Cambridge, Mass.

In addition to the 14 new teams, continuation grants of up to $2,000 will be awarded to select InvenTeams from the previous year interested in establishing a sustainable program for invention in their school curriculums or communities. Both Cesar Chavez High School and Oak Ridge High School have been selected for continuation grants.

The Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam application for the 2011 – 2012 school year is now available at


new question of the month

Respond to this month’s Question of the Month on Mechanical Engineering magazine and add your comments. We want to hear from you!

This month’s question is:

How much should we rely on deepwater oil production to supply our future energy needs?

Select from:

  1. It’s a critical resource we need to exploit fully.
  2. It will help at the margins, but it isn’t a solution to our energy needs.
  3. Or, the expense and risk involved will limit its potential.
This month’s question will be up until the end of the month. Results will be posted in the December issue of Mechanical Engineering magazine and also on this blog.

The Editor

John G. Falcioni is Editor-in-Chief of Mechanical Engineering magazine, the flagship publication of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

October 2010

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