Greenbrier East High School was recently awarded a Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam grant in the amount of $9,980 to create a process to make building materials using re-purposed cardboard. Greenbrier East High School is one of 15 high schools nationwide to be selected as an InvenTeam this year.
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. This initiative of the Lemelson-MIT Program aims to inspire a new generation of inventors.
“The InvenTeams program represents the future,” said Leigh Estabrooks, invention education officer from the Lemelson-MIT Program. “We placean emphasison STEM-focused projects to develop interest in these fields among youth. With InvenTeams, our primary goal is to foster high school students’ passion for invention, in turn inspiring them toconsider careers in science, technology, engineering or math.”
Kevin Warfield, Project Lead the Way teacher at GEHS, initiated the InvenTeam application process last spring and attended training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in June to help prepare the final proposal. A prestigious panel of judges composed of educators, researchers, staff and alumni from MIT,as well as representatives from the industryand former Lemelson-MIT Award winners, assembled this fall and selected Greenbrier East High School as one of this year’s InvenTeam grantees.
“Our invention is a process to create building material fromwastecardboard in hopes of keeping it out of landfills. We are also hoping that the material can be used for rapid construction for disaster relief as well as other forms of new construction. We are currently in the research phase exploring various options in this process,” said Warfield.
The Greenbrier East InvenTeam will also work with The Greenbrier East Pre-engineering advisory council that includes local architects, manufacturers and designers, who will guide the students through the development of their invention.
InvenTeam mentor Tag Galyean said “These West Virginia young men and women can become the best of the best. Appalachian students engaging with world renowned MIT is a spectacular event and as it should be. I am excited and proud to be associated with this endeavor. My hats off to the Warfield effort at GEHS.”
Over the next eight months, the GEHSInvenTeam will develop its cardboard building material.In June, the students will showcase a prototype of their invention at EurekaFest at MIT in Cambridge, Mass. EurekaFest, presented by the Lemelson-MIT Program, is a multi-day celebration designed to empower a legacy of inventors through activities that inspire youth, honor role models and encourage creativity and problem solving.
About the Lemelson-MIT program
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.
About the Lemelson
The Lemelson Foundation uses the power of invention to improve lives, by inspiring and enabling the next generation of inventors and invention based enterprises to promote economic growth in the US and social and economic progress for the poor in developing countries. Established by prolific US inventor Jerome Lemelson and his wife Dorothy in 1992, to date the Foundation has provided or committed more than $175 million in grants and PRIs in support of its mission. For more information, visit http://lemelson.org.