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November 06, 2008
GP students receive invention grant to create Paraplegic Ag Lift
Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam Initiative Inspires a New Generation of Inventors
PALOUSE, Washington (STPNS) -- Garfield-Palouse High School was recently awarded a Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam grant in the amount of $10,000 to create the Parplegiac Agricultural Lift, a device to help people with limited use of their legs to gain access to heavy equipment, such as a combine. Garfield-Palouse is one of 16 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. Entering its seventh year, this initiative of the Lemelson-MIT Program aims to inspire a new generation of inventors.
?Today?s students are tomorrow?s leaders. By encouraging a sustainable culture of invention in schools and communities, we hope to empower high school students to explore their interests in science, technology, engineering, and math during high school, college, and beyond. Further, our goal is to instill confidence in youth to solve problems they encounter,? said Leigh Estabrooks, invention educator officer of the Lemelson-MIT Program, who manages the initiative. ?The InvenTeam experience provides valuable exposure to these fields and enhances professional skills such as teamwork and leadership.?
Jim Stewart at Garfield-Palouse initiated the InvenTeam application process last spring and attended training at MIT in June to help prepare the final proposal. A prestigious panel of judges composed of educators and researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University, representatives from the industry, MIT staff and alumni, and former Lemelson-MIT Award winners assembled this fall and selected Garfield-Palouse for one of this year?s InvenTeam grants.
The lift is a remote-controlled device that will allow people with limited use of their legs access to heavy equipment such as a combine. The lift will be mounted to the combine and will have an arm that will swing out so that a line may be dropped down to the user, and the user can then be lifted up into the combine.
The Garfield-Palouse InvenTeam will also work with Robert Lopez and Craig Thompson, engineers at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, who will guide the students through the development of their invention.
?We are excited to be working with the Lemelson-MIT program this year, and to have the opportunity to complete our project and be able to take it back and show it at MIT. We are also extremely pleased to be able to partner with Schweitzer again this year on our project,? Stewart said.
Over the next nine months, the Garfield-Palouse InvenTeam will develop its Parplegiac Agricultural Lift. 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 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.
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. The Lemelson Foundation, which funds the program, is a private philanthropy that celebrates and supports inventors and entrepreneurs to strengthen social and economic life.
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