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Lemelson-MIT Program announces 42 Junior Varsity InvenTeam grants

Grants help middle and high school students develop as young inventors.
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JV InvenTeam students proudly show their Super Lens invention activity.
JV InvenTeam students proudly show their Super Lens invention activity.
Photo: Lemelson-MIT Program
A JV InvenTeam student learns how to create electronic textiles.
A JV InvenTeam student learns how to create electronic textiles.
Photo: Lemelson-MIT Program

The Lemelson–MIT Program announced today the award of 42 Junior Varsity (JV) InvenTeam grants to 39 schools in California (metro Los Angeles), Massachusetts, Oregon, and Texas (metro Houston). Grantees serve a diverse group of students in grades 7-10 from public, charter, and magnet schools. The JV InvenTeam initiative, launched in 2014, equips teams with invention-based activity guides, professional development for educators, and materials to enhance science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education through inquiry-based learning and hands-on skill building. (Educators in other states may access the guides for free at while professional development and invention kits of tools and materials are available to non-grantees for a fee.)

“The JV InvenTeam grants initiative and the educational resources emphasize active STEM learning. Guidebooks are written in ways that help students learn by doing. Students draw on knowledge from a wide range of disciplines including STEM, and then inventively apply their knowledge and skills to create something useful and unique,” said Leigh Estabrooks, Lemelson-MIT Program invention education officer. “JV InvenTeams offers a structured, team-oriented environment for students to think about problems and solutions in their world. Invention activities are engaging and fun in addition to being relevant to the students.”

JV InvenTeams have the opportunity to develop STEM knowledge and hands-on skills while being guided through activities such as electronic textiles or hydroponic gardening. Teams explore STEM opportunities in a field trip to a college campus or science museum. Additional support is offered to teams from local partner organizations, including 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Boys and Girls Clubs, colleges, and museums. 

The 2017 grantees are:

California JV InvenTeams

Field Trip: Antelope Valley College

  • Daisy Gibson School (Palmdale)
  • Highland High School (Palmdale)
  • Olive Vista STEAM Magnet (Sylmar)
  • SOAR Preparatory Academy (Lancaster)
  • Vista Middle School (Panorama City)
  • West Valley Boys and Girls Club at Canoga Park High School (Canoga Park)

Massachusetts JV InvenTeams

Field Trip: Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Cambridge Science Festival

  • Alfred G. Zanetti Montessori Magnet School (Springfield)
  • Arthur M. Longsjo Middle School (Fitchburg)
  • B.M.C. Durfee High School (Fall River)
  • Burncoat Middle School (Worcester)
  • REACH at Chelsea High School (Chelsea)
  • 21st Century Baystate Springfield Educational Partnership at Roger L. Putnam Vocational Technical Academy (Springfield)
  • John T. Reid Middle School in partnership with the Berkshire Museum (Pittsfield)
  • LEAP for Education at the Nathaniel Bowditch School (Salem)
  • Lowell High School (Lowell)
  • After-School STEM Program with Kennedy and McDevitt Middle Schools in partnership with Boston College’s Lynch School of Education (Waltham, two teams)
  • Theodore Herberg Middle School in partnership with the Berkshire Museum (Pittsfield)
  • Wareham Middle School (Wareham)

Oregon JV InvenTeams

Field Trip: Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

  • Dayton High School (Dayton)
  • Dexter McCarty Middle School (Gresham)
  • Gordon Russell Middle School (Gresham)
  • Oregon City Service Learning Academy (Oregon City, four teams)
  • Siuslaw Middle School (Florence)
  • Siuslaw High School (Florence)
  • Woodburn High School (Woodburn)

Texas JV InvenTeams

Field Trip: Rice University

  • Albright Middle School (Houston)
  • Bammel Middle School (Houston)
  • Clear Creek Intermediate School (League City)
  • Energy Institute High School (Houston)
  • KIPP Generations Collegiate High School (Houston)
  • Michael R. Null Middle School (Houston)
  • North Shore Ninth Grade Campus (Houston)
  • Ross Sterling Middle School (Humble)
  • Sharpstown International School (Houston)
  • South Houston Intermediate (Houston)
  • Spring Forest Middle School (Houston)
  • Stafford High School (Stafford)
  • Westfield High School (Houston)

The JV InvenTeam initiative, supported by The Lemelson Foundation, is an introductory enrichment program for invention. Students and educators can go on to compete for InvenTeams, the Lemelson-MIT Program’s national grants initiative that engages high school students through invention projects that solve a real-world problem defined by each student team. Participation in the InvenTeam grants initiative is open to high school teams in any state (i.e. it is not limited to California, Oregon, Texas, or Massachusetts).

Additional partnership opportunities for JV InvenTeams are available for corporations, universities, civic groups, nonprofit organizations, and private foundations interested in cultivating inventiveness among students in grades 7-10 underserved in STEM. Visit for more information. 

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