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Tech High students complete roof invention

July 26, 2010

A team of student inventors from Washington County Technical High School, one of only 15 high schools nationwide selected to receive a $10,000 Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam grant in the 2009-10 school year, recently completed its Color-Changing Roof invention.

The roof will reduce energy costs by reflecting the sun's radiant heat in the summer, keeping an attic much cooler, but collecting that heat in the winter and directing the collected heat into the living space.

The team traveled to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., to exhibit and demonstrate its invention at the InvenTeams Showcase during EurekaFest, a celebration of the inventive spirit, June 16 to 19. EurekaFest is presented by the Lemelson-MIT Program, a nonprofit organization at MIT that inspires youth to pursue creative lives and careers through innovation.

EurekaFest empowers a legacy of inventors through activities that honor role models, and encourage creativity and problem solving. The festivities also provided the Tech High team with the opportunity to meet fellow student inventors from across the country, past and present Lemelson-MIT Program Award winners, MIT faculty, alumni and staff, and leaders in the science and engineering communities.

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During the showcase, the Tech High team, led by Alan Zube, pre-engineering and Project Lead the Way teacher, joined a community of inventors at the MIT Stata Center. In addition to discussing its research and design processes and showcasing its invention, the Tech High team gathered feedback to advance its invention.

To encourage a culture of innovation among InvenTeams, the students also attended Advanced Invention to Venture, a workshop produced by the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance, another grantee of the Lemelson Foundation that supports technology innovation and entrepreneurship in higher education to create experiential learning opportunities for students. The alliance's Collegiate E-Teams and Advanced Invention to Venture graduates pursuing commercialization of their inventions coached the InvenTeam students.

On June 19, the InvenTeams wrapped up EurekaFest in a wind-power design challenge at the Museum of Science in Boston.

The Tech High team joined more than 200 high school students from across the country to devise, construct and test a wind turbine in order to lift an aluminum garbage can to the three-story ceiling of the museum.

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