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Describe the Activity:
InvenTeams is a STEM education initiative that tasks students to independently design and build innovative devices that positively impact society. High school students receive $10,000 to work with teachers and mentors throughout the invention process, and showcase their work at MIT's annual EurekaFest. The interactive, self-directed learning program helps students apply their critical thinking skills to solving real-world problems.
Each InvenTeam creates an individual path due to project variation, but most experience the cycle through three phases:
- Concept Phase
- Design Phase
- Build Phase
InvenTeams access information and resources through a private portal on the Lemelson-MIT Program’s website where they also manage their finances and submit reports. Lemelson-MIT Program staff visits each InvenTeam at its school during the grant cycle.
Reporting and Documenting Work
InvenTeams post updates and share photos and videos of their work on each InvenTeam's website. Many will also engage media to publicize significant milestones. InvenTeams have two major milestones to report progress on their invention:
- Mid-Grant Technical Review: InvenTeams host open houses in February to show the technical progress to mentors, technical experts, and users.
- Final Summary Presentations and Reports: InvenTeams present a summary of their work at EurekaFest. Presentation sections include: motivation, technical overview, team process, and next steps.
As a grants initiative, InvenTeams work on a yearly cycle, though any young inventor could follow the same timeline. The grant period runs from October - June corresponding with the academic year.
FREE - this is a grant for up to $10,000.
10-15 students with one adult is optimal.
Outcome of the Activity:
Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams™ are comprised of high school students, educators, and mentors that receive up to $10,000 each to invent technological solutions to real-world problems of their own choosing.