Congratulations to Northeast High School for being awarded a Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam $10,000 grant to create a mosquito breeding disruptor – a device to deter mosquitoes from laying eggs in standing water. Northeast High is one of only 15 high schools nationwide selected as an InvenTeam this year.
InvenTeams are teams of high school students, teachers and mentors who receive grants of 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.
L. Clara Mabour, biology teacher at Northeast High, 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 panel of judges composed of educators, researchers, staff and alumni from MIT, and representatives from the industry and former Lemelson-MIT Award winners, assembled this fall and selected Northeast High as one of this year’s InvenTeam grantees.
Five years ago, Mabour was a member of another winning Northeast High inventor team awarded a $10,000 InvenTeam grant. While a student at her alma mater Northeast High, Mabour was part of the team that created a portable water sanitation system that could be used after natural disasters. Two members of the winning InvenTeam team were invited to attend the 2013 White House Science Fair, where they persuaded President Obama to ride the bicycle that powered their water filtration system.
“The InvenTeams program represents the future,” said Leigh Estabrooks, invention education officer from the Lemelson-MIT Program. “We place an emphasis on 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 to consider careers in science, technology, engineering or math.”
The Northeast High InvenTeam is creating an autonomous, adaptable and environmentally safe device that breaks the surface tension of stagnant water, in shallow containers, underground sewer systems or ponds and lakes. Their goal is to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs in water sources and then spreading mosquito vectored illnesses like Zika and Malaria to humans in urban tropical environments.
The Northeast High InvenTeam will also work with Paul Fucile, senior engineer of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, who will guide the students through the development of their invention.
Over the next nine months, the Northeast High InvenTeam will develop its mosquito breeding disruptor. In June, the students will showcase a prototype of their invention at EurekaFest at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. EurekaFest 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.
Northeast High School 2017 InvenTeam.
L. Clara Mabour, Northeast High School biology teacher
and InvenTeam Educator Supervisor,
stands next to a photo of her 2013 InvenTeam,
where she participated as a student member.
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