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$10,000 prize for CHS students

Congratulations to the Carmel High School InvenTeam, which has been awarded a $10,000 grant from Lemelson-MIT to help fund a wearable device that rapidly detects and treats seizures by injecting life-saving medicine to patients with seizure disorders such as epilepsy. Only 15 schools across the country were selected; Carmel High School’s InvenTeam is only the second team in Indiana history to receive this grant. The InvenTeam will travel to Boston in June 2017 to showcase its prototype to influential leaders at MIT. The team has set up a GoFundMe account to help raise funds to fly the entire team to Boston.

The Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam Challenge, now in its 14th year, inspires youth to utilize STEM based learning to create an invention that helps solve real-world problems. A respected panel of invention and academic leaders from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Lemelson-MIT Program, industry experts, and InvenTeam student alumni selected this year’s national winners.

The inspiration behind the invention was the team’s interest in neuroscience and a close friend who suffers from a particularly dangerous form of epilepsy, status epilepticus, a condition that results in seizures lasting more than five minutes. The prolonged duration of seizures can lead to permanent damage and death, however, the recovery rate for individuals who receive treatment within 30 minutes of the start of their seizure is 80%.

CHS InvenTeam’s automatic seizure detection and injection invention will allow those with seizure disorders to receive immediate medical attention, rather than waiting for medical personnel or a family member to arrive and administer the life-saving medication. Furthermore, this invention aims to bring a new sense of independence and confidence among individuals with epilepsy, alleviating the need for constant supervision from the unpredictable nature of the disorder.

“It is absolutely inspiring to work alongside such a talented group of students who have taken their passion for STEM and Entrepreneurship to develop a product that can truly make a difference in someone’s life,” said Jacob Fitzgerald, AP Environmental Science Teacher and sponsor of the club. “Throughout this year long process, these students have learned valuable lessons of teamwork, creativity and leadership skills that will extend well beyond their high school careers.”

Superintendent of Carmel Clay Schools, Dr. Nicholas D. Wahl, praised the team’s achievement. “It is tremendous honor for the CHS InvenTeam to be awarded the prestigious Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam grant. Opportunities such as this grant allow our students to integrate the high-quality STEM based curriculum we offer at Carmel Clay Schools and apply these practices to real-world applications and future careers in STEM.”

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