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STEM Academy Students awarded grant

STEM Academy Students awarded grant


Valley STEM + ME2 Academy was recently awarded a grant in the amount of $10,000 to create a danger alert system for schools.

The grant was awarded by Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam.

According to a news release, the Valley STEM Academy is one of 15 high schools nationwide to be selected as an InvenTeam this year.

The press release stated that 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 place an emphasis on STEM-focused projects to develop an 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 press release said that Rachel Young, STEM Coordinator at Valley STEM started the InvenTeam application process last spring and attended training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 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 industry and former Lemelson-MIT Award winners, assembled this fall and selected Valley STEM as one of this year's InvenTeam grantees.

The danger alert system invention is going to include an app that is can be used on both Android and iOS systems that would read student badges, house student information, and send out messages to students including emergency alerts.

There will also be a scanning system installed in every room and entrance into the building that would be used to check in and out of when they move locations or exit the building.

"We are very proud of our students who worked really hard on the final application where they were tasked with describing their invention, as well as creating a financial plan to fund the invention. The most rewarding part for them is having the chance to present to people from all over the United States at one of the most prestigious schools in the country," said Rachel Young, Valley STEM Coordinator.

Over the next nine months, the Valley STEM InvenTeam says they will develop their danger alert system.

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.

Valley STEM + ME2 Academy

The Valley STEM + ME2 Academy’s mission is to prepare students in 9-10 grade with skills necessary to compete in the global economy while nurturing the characteristics of discovery, invention, application, and entrepreneurship.

STEM Governing Board Members

  • Ashley Totin - STEM President
  • John Kuzma - Secretary
  • Dr. Stephen Rodabaugh - STEM Board Member
  • Dr. Karen Larwin - STEM Board Member
  • Craig Hockenberry - STEM Board Member
  • Dr. Mara Banfield - STEM Superintendent
  • Jacci Duda - STEM Secretary

Additional Board Information

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