At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s EurekaFest, 11 high school teams presented inventions they developed with the help of Lemelson-MIT’s InvenTeams program. 

This event allowed the teams the opportunity to explain their creative designs and gather valuable feedback from attendees. A majority of the teams leveraged the use of Onshape in their design process

Here are the highlights from the June 12-14 event.

A look at the EurekaFest!

A Yearlong Student Journey to Creating a Working Invention

The inventions showcased at EurekaFest were part of the Lemelson-MIT program, a grant devoted to bringing invention education opportunities to all students – particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds. 

At the beginning of each school year, the program chooses a handful of teams comprised of students, teachers, and community mentors to become their “InvenTeams,” who they support in their goal of solving real-world problems in their own communities. 

Each InvenTeam receives a grant from the program, as well as yearlong support from the Lemelson-MIT program, teaching fellows, and other resources. The students themselves then identify a problem that is meaningful to them in their community, come up with a solution, and build a working prototype in time to show it off for the EurekaFest event. This year, 11 teams – nine current high school and two alumni teams – put their passion and prototypes on display.

Sylmar Biotech Health and Engineering Magnet School

The Sylmar Biotech Health and Engineering Magnet High School (SBHEM) team chose to solve an issue that is distinctly important in their own community, but applicable to just about anywhere: water scarcity. 

Since they’re from Sylmar, California, they are no strangers to long droughts with little rainfall and are aware of the need to conserve water. 

Their idea to help with water conservation: the Smart Shower. 

In their discovery process, the SBHEM team learned that researchers estimate that over 10% of all the hot water drawn for showering in a home is wasted waiting for the water to heat up. 

The Smart Shower fixes this problem by using an automated valve in the pipe leading to the shower head that is controlled by a box with a temperature sensor. The valve near the shower head will stay closed, conserving the water, until a desired temperature is reached. The shower head also connects to a temperature sensor that shows the user how hot the water is with an LED light scale. 

The team's shower head that helps conserve water.

Their prototype mainly included 3D-printed parts designed in Onshape. The students emphasized that they went through many iterations of the design and prototype prints and that Onshape made it easy to change and develop the parts as they went along.
The team's prototype.

Quarry Lane School – Alumni Team

The QLS team at their booth.

The Quarry Lane School (QLS) InvenTeam is an alumni team that brought along a new version of their invention from last year. Driven by their shared passion for engineering and sports, they developed a device to help improve in-game communication for athletes with hearing loss. 

In a game such as basketball, it is difficult to convey to deaf athletes when a play is stopped since they are unable to hear a whistle blow. The QLS team invented a referee whistle that creates a haptic vibration that causes a wearable device on an athlete's ankle to vibrate. That ankle vibration alerts the athlete that the play has stopped, and alleviates the need for the coaches or referees to wave their arms or stomp their feet to get their attention. 

The QLS teams invention to help athletes with hearing loss.

The QLS team was passionate not only about the solution they had devised but also about how Onshape had helped them get there. They had a very structured and organized Document, with master sketches holding together their derived sketches and parts, and versions corresponding to each of the prototypes they brought with them. They also made great use of in-context modeling and FeatureScript.
A CAD model on the right, and attendees at the EurekaFest on the left.

Lemelson-MIT Program: The Future Is Now

Attending the Lemelson-MIT program was a treat not only because of the display of such great ideas but also because of the passion that each and every team member had for their designs. 

It was clear talking to any of the sometimes 10-plus team members for each invention that they all had a special connection to their creation and to solving meaningful issues. 

The Lemelson-MIT grant takes pride in their work of providing opportunities for students to pursue those passions and make a difference.

“InvenTeams are not just problem-solvers of tomorrow, they are problem-solvers today.” 
- Leigh Estabrooks, Lemelson-MIT’s Invention Education Officer. 

Onshape for Education

Students and educators from elementary to university are choosing Onshape as the CAD of choice in the classroom. With Onshape, students are enabled to work together, design creatively, and dive into the world of 3D printing and engineering.

Get set up with Onshape today with just a few clicks.

Get Started with Onshape Education

Onshape for education brings CAD out of the computer lab and into the modern era.