Category Archives: Did You Know?

9 Famous Edison Quotes For Your Graduation Cap

Congrats to the Class of 2020! After an year full of unexpected hardship, you should be proud of  the perseverance and hard work that you have shown not only in 2020 but for the last 4 years in school. Whether you are able to have a ceremony or not, it’s time to celebrate by decorating your graduation caps and tossing them in the air. What better way to symbolize your achievements than with an Edison quote?

Edison was a quote machine, literally. Reporters loved to interview him for his penchant to coin a phrase. His quotes are used in advertising, history books, merchandise, offices, classroom walls, and more to this day. His introspective words are just as relevant to students today as they were to newspaper readers during his time.

To celebrate college & high school graduations, Edison Innovation Foundation is giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky winner! All you have to do is decorate your cap with your favorite Edison quotes (some suggestions below and post it on your Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #EdisonGradCap (be sure your profile is public so we can see the post). Our team will be featuring the best caps all month and on July 1st, we will announce the winner of the gift card!

Our Favorite Edison Quotes:

  1. “There’s a better way to do it. Find it.”
  2. “I have not failed 10,000 times, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
  3. “There is no substitute for hard work.”
  4. “I start where the last man left off.”
  5. “What you are will show in what you do.”
  6. “Hell, there are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something.” 
  7. “The value of an idea lies in the using of it.”  
  8. “Genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration.” 
  9. “I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.”

These might not be your favorites, but fear not, for you are free to use any you like. Check out thomasedison.org for many more Edison quotes!

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How Thomas Edison Inspired my Lifelong STEM Career

We knew Harry T. Roman invented lots of things in his engineering career, and that he was a huge Thomas Edison fan. We thought it would be cool to have an inventor, Edison fan and a seasoned writer on staff. That was 13 years ago. Recently, he wrote about his life story and how it ties into Edison. When we found out about this story, we knew we had to share it with our readers!

Harry holds 12 U.S. Patents; and during his career he helped re-design the electric utility system, introducing solar energy, robots, artificial intelligence, batteries and fuel cells, and micro sensors to the industry. Today, he also writes widely about STEM and serves as a docent at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange, NJ. He routinely visits local schools in the area to excite young minds about invention, creativity and of course…Edison. Here is the scoop on our very own Author and Advisor at the Edison Innovation Foundation, Harry T. Roman. Enjoy the read!

Since the 4th grade at Abington Avenue Grammar School in Newark, I have had a special relationship with my boyhood hero, Thomas Edison.

It all started in 1957 when my teacher, Mrs. Wilson, had us write away to a company to learn about what that company does, and then share that information with our classmates. She was handing out names and addresses of companies for us to write away to; and prophetically handed me the address for the Thomas Edison Company (their storage battery division, in the nearby town of Bloomfield). With that long-ago autumn classroom assignment, my life-long interest in invention had begun.

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Thomas Edison Pitch Contest 2020 Winners Announced

On May 13th, the Edison Innovation Foundation gave awards to student team finalists from across the country in the annual Thomas Edison Pitch Contest. It was the 10th year of hosting this competition…and the very first held completely over Zoom due to the stay-at-home orders.

The finalists were chosen from 180 teams in 21 states across the country who entered our contest this year. The student teams from elementary, middle and high school displayed wonderful creativity and inventive spirit for our 10th Anniversary Celebration. We thank our partners Gilbane, New Jersey Manufacturers, and PicoSolutions for supporting this exciting event.

The students pitched their invention ideas to our expert judge panel of financial professionals, Edison experts, and lawyers to win a 3D Printer and more for their schools!

Here is a summary of the how they placed:

Elementary School

1st Place

Team Empower, Lawton Chiles Elementary, Tampa, FL

This team originally wanted to create a robot that picked up trash in the community. However, when Corona hit their home town, they saw an even greater need in their community…the need for the Grab & Go Robot “GiGi.” This robot was made to serve lunches at school grab and go sites to students and families, taking a whole group of volunteers out of the line of fire of infection.

2nd Place

Team 3R, Claude Curtsinger Elementary School, Frisco, TX

This student created a fully functional application to help complete the 3Rs – Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. This application is meant to spread inspiration and information in a simple fashion, right on your phone and hopefully reduce the amount of huge amount of waste created in the world today.

3rd Place

Team Chair Affair, Lincoln K-8, Rochester, MN

This team created a kit to add to the many advantages of a ball chair in the classroom. These balls are proven to help kids focus and get exercise while learning but what if they could also help power their classroom? These kits would generate enough energy to charge students’ electronics and maybe even a light bulb.

Middle School

1st Place

Team Designer Daises, Hockaday School, Dallas, TX

This team created Easy Parking, a sensor and app system that allows people to find parking spots in the community based on their necessities. It streamlines parking for people with special needs, such as the disabled and parents with small children, by shortening the amounts of time they need to park. It was inspired by Thomas Edison’s inventions that simplified life for people like his phonograph and light bulb.

2nd Place

Team Hockabuilders, Hockaday School, Dallas, TX

This team created a new, better kind of air filter for HVAC systems called the Dust-Be-Gone. It is a single-purchase system that saves money, prevents damage to the system, and improves the health of the average person who does not change their air filter regularly. It can be used to help homes, schools, restaurants, and the list goes on!

3rd Place

Team Electric Speed Bump, Sierra Vista, Irvine, CA

This team created a brand new kind of renewable energy to power street lamps…powered by a magnet and gear system in the speed bump! Not only will this save money and help make towns make the switch to renewable energy, but it will also help make streets safer.

High School

1st Place

Team Solar Aqua Tech, Ridgewood High School, Ridgewood, NJ

This team created a water bottle that converts undrinkable to drinkable using only sunlight and oxygen. This cheaper and easily accessible way to sanitize water can help make clean water more accessible to people in need all over the world.

2nd Place

Team RHS 1, Ridgewood High School, Ridgewood, NJ

This team was inspired by one of their classmates with COPD to create a more efficient way to get more out of his inhaler during the stressful commotion of an asthma attack. The Inhale Rite would be an attachment to any inhaler that would help patients achieve the correct dosage out of their inhaler with less force and form.

3rd Place

Team BP-Lytic, Cupertino High School, Cupertino, CA

This student was also inspired by someone close to him with hypertension – his dad! The BP-Lytic is a novel cuffless blood pressure monitoring system that he created to be accessible in a durable watch form. The next Apple Watch or FitBit…but for patients!

For the first time, special awards were been granted to teams that have shown special talents, especially under the hard conditions of virtual learning. These teams impressed us with their:

Most Creative Use of Materials

Team WildWires (The Winsor School, Boston, MA)

Best Use of Recycled Materials

Team ABIS (Alexander Batcho Intermediate School, Manville, NJ)

Team SEPS (Leighton Elementary School, Aurora, OH)

Most Thoughtful Notebooks

Chatham Cougars (Chatham High School, Chatham, NJ)

Most Creative Notebooks

Ocean Blue Crew (LBI Grade School, Ship Bottom, NJ)

Best Teamwork

Team FishScales (The Village Middle School, Houston, TX)

Best “Problem Solvers” 

Daises of the Future (Hockaday School, Dallas, TX)

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Congratulations and great job inventors! 

You have captured the Thomas Edison spirit…..”There’s a better way to do it-find it!”

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