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Teens aim to make a difference through invention

15 high schools awarded Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam Grants to tackle real-world problems; grant applications now available for 2010-2011 school year
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Today, the Lemelson-MIT Program announced 15 teams of high school students, teachers and mentors selected to participate in the 2009-2010 InvenTeam initiative. The teams will pursue year-long invention projects and be provided with hands-on access to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

The Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam initiative is a national grants program designed to excite the next generation of inventors and problem solvers through hands-on learning, while encouraging an inventive culture in schools and communities. Each InvenTeam will receive up to $10,000 in grant funding to create a technological solution to a real-world problem of their choosing. InvenTeam projects this year include a portable, human-powered UV water filtration device, a physical therapy chair designed to reduce muscular atrophy, and a temperature-sensitive color-changing roof to combat global warming.

"This year's projects show an increased focus on invention as a way to improve the world," says Leigh Estabrooks, the Lemelson-MIT Program's invention education officer, who manages the InvenTeam initiative. "It's encouraging that teens recognize the power of invention in solving real-world problems; they'll be able to translate the skills learned through their InvenTeam experience into careers that focus on inventive thinking while improving society."

InvenTeam students will work through the various stages of design and development to create invention prototypes. In June, they will showcase these prototypes 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.

To read more about the program or the teams receiving grants, see the full release at

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