Greenon Team Receives Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam Grant

Greenon Team Receives Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam Grant
Posted on 10/24/2019
The Lemelson-MIT Program announced Wednesday, October 23 that a team of Greenon High School students and teachers is one of 14 2019–2020 InvenTeams who each received up to $10,000 in grant funding to build a technological invention to solve a problem of their own choosing.The Lemelson-MIT Program announced Wednesday, October 23 that a team of Greenon High School students and teachers is one of 14 2019–2020 InvenTeams who each received up to $10,000 in grant funding to build a technological invention to solve a problem of their own choosing.
A team of 12 Greenon High School students, led by five teachers will explore options to safely reduce the amount of man-made debris in local waterways through a Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam Grant.
Now in its sixteenth year as a national grants initiative, InvenTeams inspire young people to invent technological solutions to real-world problems. The 2019–2020 InvenTeams are comprised of students, teachers and community mentors that will pursue year-long invention projects that involve creative thinking, problem-solving, and hands-on learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The students also gain knowledge of computer science while working on their projects, which is a critical skill for all young people and especially helpful to their future work as inventors. InvenTeams apply their learnings and experiences to build an invention that will be showcased at a technical review within their home community in February 2020, and then again as a final prototype at EurekaFest — an invention celebration in June 2020 that will be held at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.
“I am impressed by this year’s InvenTeams and their commitment to solving important problems in society,” said Stephanie Couch, executive director of the Lemelson-MIT Program. “By drawing on many different disciplines, the InvenTeam initiative helps shape well-rounded students who are better equipped to tackle the technological problems they will face in the modern workplace. Approximately 2,750 students have taken part in the InvenTeam experience and 35% are girls, which is encouraging in a time when women represent only 10% of U.S. patent holders. The InvenTeam initiative fosters the ability to engage with others in order to develop understandings of problems and to envision solutions that take the views of end users into account. The work supports students of all backgrounds in developing creative and inventive problem solving skills that will be of benefit in their college and career endeavors, and in their personal lives.”
Ten female students are on the 12-person Greenon team. The Clark County Engineer’s Office and Enon-based company Seepex Inc. have committed to supporting the project and will work with the team throughout the year. The InvenTeam is also raising money to help fund additional costs for the project. Donations to the Greenon InvenTeam can be made to Greenon Schools.
“This year’s projects demonstrate the dedication of young students to make a positive impact in the world through invention,” said Tony Perry, the Lemelson-MIT Program’s invention education coordinator who will work with the teams throughout the year. “The InvenTeams will help solve major problems in areas such as environmental sustainability, regional food harvesting, and healthy living.”
Greenon STEM Educator Mr. Tom Jenkins was one of 35 teachers from across the country in the summer of 2019 to win the 2019 MIT Excite Award.
“This is an incredible opportunity for our Greenon Knights to work on a project that will address an environmental issue facing our local community with the help and expertise of world-class experts,” said Greenon Superintendent Brad Silvus. “Over the last several years, Mr. Jenkins has embraced the opportunity to build a leading STEM program here at Greenon Schools. The Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam Grant and Excite Award are a recognition of the outstanding STEM opportunities available to our students.”
The 12 students on the Greenon InvenTeam are: Alexa Cunningham, Arizona Henderson, Braelynn Cameron, Kacie Sizer, Makenzie Gossett, Emma Bennet, Alex Tighe, Lacey Herdman, Kylie Mader, Rhea Thomas, Masonn Hayslip, and Tyler Jenkins. They will be led by Greenon teachers Kyle Bandy, Tina Harris, Tom Jenkins, Jim Shaner, and Jennifer Tropp.
Visit the Greenon InvenTeam's blog to follow updates on the project.
About the Greenon Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam project
The team will explore options to safely reduce the amount of man-made debris that exists within the Mad River and its tributaries.
The current proposal is to develop a net system that can be used to cover the end of the drain pipes that dump storm drain water (along with other items) directly into our local waterways. The team would need to develop an animal-friendly prototype that would allow for the free flow of water while catching and retaining debris.
Various materials, forms of net construction, as well as anchoring systems would have to be explored to create a durable net system that would function as intended by the design team. Additionally, the team would develop a battery-powered device that could measure the amount of tension, then remotely alert the team once the net was full.
Meet the 2019–2020 InvenTeams
The InvenTeams hail from 12 different states, including South Dakota and Nevada, two states that have never had an InvenTeam prior to this year. The invention projects were selected by a respected panel from the Cambridge and Boston area, consisting of university professors, inventors, entrepreneurs, industry professionals, and college students who were on InvenTeams when they were in high school.

Solving Problems in Health and Community
• Lower Brule High School (Lower Brule, S.D.): System to provide community entertainment at the outdoor basketball court
• Francis Tuttle Technology Center (Oklahoma City, Okla.): System to sanitize airport security bins
• Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative (Bronx, N.Y.): Wearable device to monitor physical surroundings and alert to danger
• Spanish River Community High School (Boca Raton, Fla.): Wearable device to monitor physiological symptoms of sepsis
• Baruch College Campus High School (New York, N.Y.): Publicly accessible laundry machine for people experiencing homelessness
Solving Problems in Environment and Sustainability
• Greenon Local Schools (Springfield, Ohio): System to prevent humanmade debris from entering the sewer system
• Edward C. Reed High School (Sparks, Nev.): Device to remove cigarette butts from drain sewers
• Americas High School (El Paso, Texas): System to sort recycled plastics and create reusable PET flakes
• Williamston High School (Williamston, Mich.): Automated beach litter cleaning device
• Stockbridge Jr./Sr. High School (Stockbridge, Mich.): Device to remotely monitor aquatic life
• Colfax High School (Colfax, Calif.): Device to transform brush into biochar and electrical energy
• Billerica Memorial High School (Billerica, Mass.): System to monitor snow loads on commercial flat roofs
Solving Problems in Food and Agriculture
• Patricia A. Hannaford Career Center (Middlebury, Vt.): System to monitor the flow rate of maple sap
• Gulfport High School (Gulfport, Miss.): Device to automatically flip oyster farm cages
Calling All High School Inventors!
The Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam application for the 2020–2021 school year is now available at: STEM teachers are encouraged to apply now through April 6, 2020.
Invention Education Opportunity for K-12 Educators
Teachers and school administrators, if you are not yet ready for a year-long invention experience with students, consider applying for an Excite Award to attend, free of charge, a three-day professional development workshop with other teachers in our community on July 29-31, 2020 at MIT. Learn how others have implemented pathways for invention education in their schools and districts through classes, afterschool enrichment activities, and camps, as well as InvenTeams. More information on Excite Awards can be found at:
The Lemelson-MIT Program celebrates outstanding inventors and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention.
Jerome H. Lemelson, one of U.S. history’s most prolific inventors, and his wife Dorothy founded the Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994. It is funded by The Lemelson Foundation and administered by the School of Engineering at MIT, an institution with a strong ongoing commitment to creating meaningful opportunities for K-12 STEM education. For more information, visit
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