Foundation / Corporation
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) School of Engineering and The Lemelson Foundation
Grants of up to $10,000 to USA and territories STEM educators affiliated with high schools and nonprofit educational organizations to lead high school student teams in a hands-on STEM challenge. Applicants must submit an initial application before advancing to the final application round. Funding is intended for materials, research, and learning experiences for students to invent technological solutions to real-world problems of their own choosing.
InvenTeam projects span many fields like assistive devices, environmental technologies, consumer goods, and wearable technology. Inventors are encouraged to identify important problems in their own communities. Local problems tend to highly motivate youth as they create technological solutions to improve the lives of others.
Each InvenTeam creates an individual path due to project variation, but most experience the cycle through three phases:
- Gather additional research about users' needs, competitive products, and existing patents
- Brainstorm ideas for appropriate solutions
- Conceptualize several solutions
- Investigate the feasibility of each solution
- Select the best solution
- Create a detailed design using tools, such as SolidWorks 3D CAD software
- Determine materials and resources, considering Sustainable Design
- Construct and test prototypes
- Field test prototypes
- Build alpha prototype
Students, teachers, and mentors representing each InvenTeam travel to Cambridge, Mass., in June for the Lemelson-MIT Program's EurekaFest, a multi-day celebration of the inventive spirit. InvenTeams present and showcase their prototypes at EurekaFest’s public exhibit. Lemelson-MIT Student Prize winners, MIT faculty, and other teams offer feedback and inspiration during EurekaFest.
True success for each InvenTeam is students having fun throughout the grant cycle while collaborating to build a useful and unique device that positively impacts the lives of others.
GrantWatch ID#: 178991
Up to 15 teams each school year.
Grants are up to $10,000 each.
Educators who facilitate the project outside of the school day may allot up to $3,000 of an InvenTeam grant towards fellowships.
The grant period runs from October 2019 - June 20 corresponding with the academic year.
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics educators at high schools and nonprofit educational organizations may apply.
An educator and/or a school who has received an InvenTeam grant must wait three grant cycles before applying again.
The optimal size of a team is 10-15 high school youth.
Funds may not be used to purchase capital equipment or professional services (e.g.: intellectual property legal protection, engineering services).
2019-2020 InvenTeam Timeline:
- Initial application opens: October 24, 2018
- Initial application deadline: April 8, 2019
- Up to 35 Excite Award recipients (educator finalists) announced: Mid-April, 2019
- Lead educator finalist attends EurekaFest 2019: June 19-22 2019
- Finalist teams develop their final applications: Summer 2019
- Final application deadline: September 4, 2019
- Up to 15 InvenTeams announced: October, 2019
- Invention development by InvenTeam grantees: October 2019-June 2020
- EurekaFest 2019 for InvenTeam grantees: mid-June 2020
There is a two-step application process. Finalists from the initial application round are Excite Award recipients. These educators attend EurekaFest, a multi-day celebration at MIT in June. Finalists meet current InvenTeams, see their inventions, and attend invention education workshops. Only Excite Award winners, or another educator listed on the initial application, who attend EurekaFest the summer before a grant year are invited to submit a final InvenTeam grant application.
InvenTeams are encouraged to seek industry, academic, or civic partners in their community to help implement their projects. Involving partners that have experience inventing can be invaluable.
Travel expenses to and from Cambridge, Massachusetts will require fundraising. The Program will cover room and board for eight team members (six students and two chaperones).
An informational video may be viewed here:
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
The initial application is available online here: https://lemelsonmit.slideroom.com/#/login/program/45309
The Lemelson-MIT Program
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Ave. Building 10-110
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
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