Twenty-seven teams of excited students ranging from 6th grade to high school competed in the third annual Thomas Edison Invention Challenge. Held on the campus of New Jersey Institute of Technology [NJIT] on Saturday, May 11th, this alternate energy technology themed competition capped 6 months of work by the student teams. Teams from all over northern and central New Jersey got up bright and early to bring their inventions to NJIT. Groups of judges fanned out and examined each team entry and interviewed them to learn the specifics of their creations. Here below are photos and explanations of the winning entries and teams.
Invented solar/USB sunglasses
New Providence HS
Invented an emergency shelter for disaster relief
Invented a source of biofuels derived from algae farms
Two Honorable Mention awards were also made.
Honorable mention #1
High Point RHS
Invented a turbine system that would mount to the grill of a truck and generate energy to be used to warm the block of the engine in the winter
Honorable mention #2
Heritage Middle School
Invented a solar powered food dryer
Great work student teams! Thomas Edison would be proud.
To see more pictures from this event, visit and ‘like’ our Facebook page. Stay tuned for an expanded invention challenge next year.
“Hell, there are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something.”
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Nothing would please Edison more than to see students interested in serious invention activities; and so with the completion of the Edison Innovation Foundation’s 5th annual alternate technology competition, the great inventor would be most happy.
Traditionally a NJ event, this year the Foundation expanded the competition to the national level. Nine (9) states were represented by sixty-four (64) teams vying for top honors. A key aspect of the competition-it was done totally virtually. The teams fulfilled all requirements of the competition via computer-even submitting their presentation videos via email to be judged by twelve members of the engineering, academic, business, and consulting community. Here are the winners, by division, state, and team name!
High School Division
- 1st Place: High Point Regional HS, New Jersey, (Purple Dragons-for a ski lift energy solution)
- 2nd Place: New Providence HS, New Jersey, (Zhang Plus One-for a parabolic boiler)
- 3rd Place: Morris Knolls HS, New Jersey, (ZFN2 Team 1-for an electric car charged through a photovoltaic array)
Middle School Division
- 1st Place: Banks Trail MS, South Carolina, (The Chargerz-for a wireless cell phone solar charger that could be used during catastrophic events, or in locations without electricity)
- 2nd Place: Howell MS North, New Jersey, (Artificial Intelligence-for a sun grill)
- 3rd Place: Linwood MS, New Jersey, (Team 4-for an improved flight data recorder)
- Albert Bridge Elementary School, Vermont, (The Edisons-for a wind powered phone charger)
- Chaney STEM Campus, Ohio, (Thomas Friends-for a sustainable swimming pool)
Great effort everyone! Shown below are several selected photos of the winners.
High School Third Place Winners
Middle School First Place Winners
Teachers, school principals, students out there … participate in next year’s national competition. Join in the fun and competitive spirit.
Thomas Edison said, “I find out what the world needs. Then I go ahead and try to invent it.”
Time® is a registered trademark of Time Inc.
As we approach the birthday of Thomas Edison, February 11th, our thoughts turn toward the many teachers we have interacted with over the years, those who bring the Edison message and spirit to their students. Teachers are always communicating with us, asking questions, visiting the legendary West Orange labs, prowling our websites, encouraging student teams to take part in our annual Thomas Edison Invention Challenge, and developing lesson plans around the technological accomplishments of the world’s greatest inventor.
These teachers understand how to combine content and process in the curriculum, who have a magnificent comprehension of the importance of empowering their students to invent and dream of new things, just like the great inventor. In these heady days of STEM-style teaching in the classroom, and its importance to competing in a global economy, we celebrate the integration of science, technology, engineering and math. One cannot help but recognize that Thomas Edison, through his invention factory concept and the project management of perhaps 30-40 teams of inventors and craftspeople every day, pioneered the very taproots of STEM over 125 years ago.
Edison realized the value of education and often spoke out about the need to get the young ones to think and engage their creativity. One of the first uses he thought his invention of motion pictures would fulfill was for education in the classroom. Wow … sounds like a precursor to our online learning via the Internet! Here is something we always tell teachers about – Edison’s business philosophy:
- Think out of the box
- Be entrepreneurial-take risks
- Fail your way to success
- Success demands that you improve your products
We would like to recognize the special accomplishments of these Edison cheerleaders, those teachers who personify the Edison spirit and give their students an invaluable lifetime lesson. Take a moment and drop us a note about a teacher you know or work with who gives their students this kind of inspiration. You can send this to firstname.lastname@example.org. Maybe a simple email about this teacher and why you think they deserve to be recognized. We will do the rest.
Here are the cash prizes for the classroom:
- First Place – $500
- Second Place – $250
- Third Place – $150
John P. Keegan
President and CEO
Edison Innovation Foundation