Calling All Teen Inventors! Get Your Projects Ready Now!

What could your highschool do with an extra $10,000?

When you finish your list, keep reading...

One inventive way to get that much needed dough and encourage creative thinking and invention in your highschool is to form a student invention team and start tossing around some project ideas now... because applications begin this Fall for the 2009 competition Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam grants.

"InvenTeams composed of high school students, teachers and mentors are asked to collaboratively identify a problem that they want to solve, research the problem, and then develop a prototype invention as an in-class or extracurricular project. Grants of up to $10,000 support each team's efforts. InvenTeams are encouraged to work with community partners, specifically the potential beneficiaries of their invention."

Each year about twenty highschool teams are awarded up to $10,000 for their projects. Past winners included inventions such as a "Curb-conqueror" wheelchair attachment , a continuous positive airway pressure alert, and inspection friendly luggage .

All the application and project details, as well as plenty of support material, including in-school posters to recruit students, can be found on the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam website.

Jerome Lemelson , who with his wife Dorothy, founded the Lemelson Foundation , was one of the most prolific inventors in history, having received 550 patents during his 40 years of inventing. He contributed to many fields, from aeronautical engineering to electronic vision/scanning to toys and games. He fought hard for the rights of independent inventors, for several of his patents were infringed by big companies.

Nevertheless, Lemelson became a very weathly man through his inventions and left most of his wealth to up-and-coming inventors through the Lemelson Foundation and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) , that administers the yearly foundation awards:

The $500,000 Lemelson-MIT PrizeThe $100,000 Lemelson-MIT Award for Sustainability The $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize The Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams High School Invention Grants Additionally, the Lemelson Foundation funds these student awards:
The $30,000 Lemelson-Rensselaer Student Prize and The $30,000 Lemelson-Illinois Student Prize

Can you imagine making so much money from your inventions that you're able to provide more than a million dollars a year, in perpetuity, to encourage new inventors in every successive generation? (I think I can imagine it.. I think I can... I think I can... I )

Myra Per-Lee


Please visit my blog to read my series of Inventor Advice columns. It all starts at the bottom of the last page (isn't that how inventors always start?) with How To Come Up With A Great Product Idea.

Jul 9, 2007
by bobbyamore (not verified)

Let's encourge our youth

Great stuff for the youth. I just sat down with my nephew who finished his first year of Design school at Pratt. We're  going to  collaborate on our first product together and take him through all the steps so he can learn the process. We are vary excited about working together. My other nephew has started film school and we are going to let him shoot a spec commercial of the product. So, the youth of America are well on thier way and thanks for the projects mentioned in your article.I'm sure that will interest them  greatly. Keep up the good work!
Bobby AmoreAmerican Inventor show top 12www.tonerbelt.orgTo Fruition LLC.

Jul 9, 2007
by Myra Per-Lee


Thank you for keeping in touch, Bobby.

I'm going to be writing more about young inventors in the future. Stay tuned and let us know when you're ready to unveil your co-invention!

Myra Per-Lee
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