News Releases
15 High Schools Awarded Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam Grants
October 21, 2009

Cambridge, Mass., Oct. 21, 2009 - The Lemelson-MIT Program yesterday 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.

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.

A prestigious panel of judges composed of educators and researchers from MIT and Harvard University, industry representatives, MIT staff and alumni and former Lemelson-MIT Program Award winners select the InvenTeams from a national pool of applicants. They are selected based on ingenuity and demonstrated potential in creative thinking. The 2009-2010 grant recipients and their proposed inventions are:


  • Commack High School (Commack, N.Y.): Standby-power usage reduction device
  • Staten Island Technical High School (Staten Island, N.Y.): Comfort control wheelchair seating
  • Washington County Technical High School (Hagerstown, Md.): Temperature-sensitive, color-changing roof to combat global warming


  • Omaha Benson High School Magnet (Omaha, Neb.): Outdoor, self-sustaining, solar powered hydroponic gardening system
  • Science Museum of Minnesota (Saint Paul, Minn.): Portable watercraft transfer device for people with disabilities
  • University Laboratory High School (Urbana, Ill.): Effluent removal apparatus for sustainable aquaculture


  • Columbus High School (Columbus, Ga.): Portable, inexpensive device to predict high-probability conditions for lightning strikes
  • Cypress Bay High School (Weston, Fla.): Portable, human-powered, UV water filtration device
  • Greenbrier West High School (Charmco, W.Va.): Wetland assessment system for multi-spectral photography, moisture sensing and data retrieval
  • Hillside New Technical High School (Durham, N.C.): Residential green roofing system for sloped surfaces
  • Hopewell High School (Hopewell, Va.): Ergonomic, interactive student desk
  • Oak Ridge High School (Oak Ridge, Tenn.): Micro-scale hydroelectric water purifier


  • Cesar Chavez High School (Laveen, Ariz.): Motorized physical therapy chair to reduce muscular atrophy
  • Trevor Browne High School (Phoenix, Ariz.): Simple, human-powered drill tiller
  • Woodrow Wilson Classical High School (Long Beach, Calif.): Air resistance and energy conversion system to increase energy efficiency of trains

In addition to the 15 new InvenTeams this year, continuation grants of up to $2,000 will be awarded to select teams interested in pursuing projects from the previous year. Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam applications for the 2010-2011 school year are now available at Teams of high school students and mentors are encouraged to apply.

For more information, visit:

About the Lemelson-MIT Program

The Lemelson-MIT Program recognizes outstanding inventors, encourages sustainable new solutions to real-world problems, and enables and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention. The program was founded by Jerome Lemelson at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994.