Introducing Students to the World of Invention
The InvenTeam initiative, created by the Lemelson-MIT Program, offers an unparalleled opportunity for high school students to cultivate their creativity and experience invention.
InvenTeams are teams of high school students, teachers, and mentors that receive grants up to $10,000 each to invent technological solutions to real-world problems. Each InvenTeam chooses its own problem to solve.
Learning Beyond the Classroom
InvenTeam students rely on inquiry and hands-on problem solving as they apply lessons from science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to develop invention prototypes. Interactive, self-directed learning coupled with STEM curricula are essential for experiencing invention.
Students learn to work in teams, while collaborating with intended users of their inventions. They partner with professionals in their communities to enrich their experiences. Most of all, students learn to move forward through challenges and celebrate "Eureka!" moments.
Inspiring a New Generation of Inventors
In 2002 the Lemelson-MIT Program awarded its first InvenTeam grants to three New England high schools. There have been more than 95 InvenTeams to date, hailing from high schools across the United States including, Anchorage, Alaska; Miami, Fla.; St. Paul, Minn.; San Jon, N.M.; and Littleton, N.H.
After the InvenTeam experience, inventive cultures often continue to prosper at participating schools through further development of InvenTeam prototypes or pursuit of new invention projects
Web site: http://www.inventeams.org/
Apply for 2012 InvenTeams http://web.mit.edu/inventeams/apply.html
Process Applying for an InvenTeam grant is a two-step process. The initial application is available online each fall and due in the spring (for grants awarded the following academic year).
Educators often begin the application without youth participants. Youth input is encouraged for the initial application and required for the final application. Many educators recruit youth early to create a richer proposal for the initial application.
InvenTeam projects span many fields from assistive devices to environmental technologies and consumer goods. Applicants are encouraged to consider needs of the world's poorest people (those earning $2/day) when brainstorming invention ideas. Some InvenTeams pursue inventions that also augment STEM curriculum such as Project Lead the Way. See former InvenTeams and their invention projects.