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The Lemelson-MIT Program celebrates outstanding inventors and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention. Jerome H. Lemelson, one of U.S. history’s most prolific inventors, and his wife Dorothy founded the Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994. It is funded by The Lemelson Foundation and administered by the School of Engineering. The Lemelson Foundation uses the power of invention to improve lives. Inspired by the belief that invention can solve many of the biggest economic and social challenges of our time, the Foundation helps the next generation of inventors and invention-based businesses to flourish. The annual Lemelson-MIT Awards serve to promote and stimulate invention and underline invention’s role in a strong U.S. economy:
- The $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize honors outstanding mid-career inventors dedicated to improving our world through technological invention.
- The Lemelson-MIT Student Prize Competition honors the most inventive individual graduate and teams of undergraduate collegiate inventors in the U.S. whose work in any one of the four prize categories (“Cure it!,” “Drive it!,” “Eat it!” or “Use it!”) has the potential to impact the U.S. economy.
The Lemelson-MIT Program fosters a culture for invention, especially among youth, through various outreach initiatives and resources:
- Presented annually, EurekaFest™ is a multi-day celebration designed to empower a legacy of inventors through activities that inspire youth, honor role models, and encourage creativity and problem solving.
- Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams™ are comprised of high school students, teachers, and mentors that receive grants up to $10,000 each to invent technological solutions to real-world problems. Each October, high schools from across the United States are selected as InvenTeams.
- Lemelson-MIT JV InvenTeams™ are comprised of underserved and underrepresented students in grades 7-10 who hone their hands-on skills and enrich their science, technology, engineering and math education through invention-based design activities. JV InvenTeams are currently located in Massachusetts, Texas, Oregon and California.