Posts belonging to Category STEM



Thomas Edison Holds a Pitch Contest

Middle school student teams recently showed their ability to be both innovative and articulate as they pitched new product ideas to a panel of judges and competed for top honors in the Edison Innovation Foundation’s new Thomas Edison Pitch Contest. All this happened on a Saturday morning at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park [TENHP] in West Orange, NJ.

The winners and their teacher mentor pose near the historic desk of famed inventor Thomas Edison on display at TENHP.

The winners and their teacher mentor pose near the historic desk of famed inventor Thomas Edison on display at TENHP.

Competing teams from Heritage Middle School, Grover Cleveland Middle School, and Glen Rock Middle School put it all on the line to extoll the virtues of their ideas; and then answer tough questions about the viability of their designs. Here is how it all boiled down:

  • First Place- $1,000 to Heritage for the “Ultimate Air Quality Sensor”
  • Second Place- $500 to Glen Rock for the “Charging Solution”
  • Third Place- $250 to Grover Cleveland for the “Motorized Brush Cleaner”

With the award money, the teams can now develop prototypes of their product ideas, and will report on their success by the end of the school year in a written report back to the Foundation. The contest exemplifies how in the STEM-rich business world new ideas are first conceived, funding is obtained for their development [the pitch] and how actual prototypes are built and evaluated.

The three finalist teams and their teacher mentors enjoying a group photo at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park where the contest finals were held.

The three finalist teams and their teacher mentors enjoying a group photo at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park where the contest finals were held.

From the very desk in the photo above, Thomas Edison launched his famous invention factory concept which later became the foundation for R&D labs worldwide and the STEM process our children study in school today. It was not unusual for Edison to manage 30-40 new product development teams all the time.

Based on the success of this pitch contest, the Foundation plans to significantly increase the size of this contest in the near future.

Thomas Edison was there in spirit to listen to what these young entrepreneurs had to propose. That you can be sure of! He would have hired these talented future leaders.

Thomas Edison said, “I find out what the world needs. Then I go ahead and try to invent it.”

Left: Intel-Edison module now available world-wide for developers. Right: The “Tommy” award given by the Edison Innovation Foundation.

Left: Intel-Edison module now available world-wide for developers. Right: The “Tommy” award given by the Edison Innovation Foundation.

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Join the 2017 Thomas Edison Invention Challenge

All you K-12 inventors out there … it’s time again for the Thomas Edison Invention Challenge, the 2017 cycle. Check it out here: Edisoninventionchallenge.org

Join the 2017 Thomas Edison Invention Challenge

The Challenge started in 2010 to celebrate the spirit of invention, and to spur young folks to strive to become the next Thomas Edison! When Edison created his invention factory concept [later to become corporate R&D labs], he used a team-based, integrated or interdisciplinary, head and hands, approach to new product development— exactly what we recognize today as STEM. We can think of Edison as the original “STEM-meister”.

This cycle will challenge inventors to develop things that improve the qualitative life of people-the betterment of society in representative categories:

  • Alternate energy technology applications
  • Assisting the handicapped
  • Medically relevant products
  • Educational games
  • Intel Edison smart chips and coding for robotic/prosthetic applications

  • Winners receive 3D Printers and other cool prizes!
  • Virtual Competition- All submissions must be uploaded through a shared google drive folder. We do not accept any other type of submissions outside of Google drive.
  • K-12 Students are eligible to participate
  • $250 Teacher Stipend to all schools who complete the competition (1 per school)

Last year’s Challenge [2016] involved 13 States, 50+ schools, 2 countries, & well over 100 teams. Interested?

Don’t let the invention parade pass you by!

Several of Last year’s winners:

Middle School

Middle School

High School

High School

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Thomas Edison Loves Young Inventors

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)

Honorable Mentions

  • 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

High School Third Place Winners

Middle School First 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 on Time MagazineThomas 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.

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