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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The Thomas Edison Invention Contest is all about having young folks learn how to integrate alternate energy concepts into problem solving. Back in 1910 Edison was championing the use of solar energy as a clean form of energy. As usual, the great inventor was way ahead of the curve. As you read below, both elementary and high school contestants came up with some creative solutions for the 2016 contest whose theme was …. “use alternative energy to create an invention for a population that had experienced a natural disaster”.
In the Elementary & Middle School Category
1st Place–Freehold Intermediate School: STEM STARZ
STEM STARZ justified using the “power of 3” to aid in disaster relief missions focusing on solar, wind and hydro energy.
2nd Place–Linwood Middle School: STEMINISTS
The team created a device that would send an alarm to an underprivileged or over populated area that is accustomed to floods or earthquakes.
3rd Place–Heritage Middle School: Swagmasters Tech
Project was called “Turbo Turbine” which aids in flood disasters. The team designed these turbines to be placed in sewers so during floods, the running water would still transfer energy to affected areas.
In the High School Category
1st Place–Hackettstown High School: Tiger Team 2
Method for charging aerial drones during flooding situations. The boats would contain various charging stations for the drones to charge while other drones continue dropping supplies such as food and water to flood victims until help can reach their location.
2nd Place–High Point Regional High School: The Composters
Plans to place turbines in sewer systems to generate power during floods.
3rd Place–Chaney Stem Campus: D.R. Responsers
Their designs use turbines to generate power for emergency service facilities.
A hearty well-done to all participants, especially the winners. Edison would be smiling at your efforts.
Here are the stats for this year’s contest: 84 student teams comprised of approximately 300 students, from 29 schools scattered over 6 states, competed for honors-and all of the competition was done virtually, with students submitting their work electronically to a panel of judges from the scientific/engineering community.
All student winners have received plaques. First place winning schools have received 3D printers, and second and third place winners will receive prototyping kits for use in the classroom.
Thomas Edison said … “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
Time ® is a registered trademark of Time Inc.
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.