Archives: October 26th, 2006

Me in the Oregonian

Thursday, October 26th, 2006

Grants nurture young inventors’ ideas
Technology – Four Oregon high schools, including Hillsboro and Westview, are at work
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
The Oregonian

A national grant program will give young inventors at high schools in Beaverton, Hillsboro, Newberg and Gresham the chance to create devices such as graphing calculators for the visually impaired and car speed detectors.

The four schools, along with 16 others in the nation, are recipients of a Lemelson-Massachusetts Institute of Technology Program grants that pay each school as much as $10,000 for invention projects. Students will present their work this spring at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. No competition is involved.

Josh Schuler, InvenTeams’ grants officer, said there were more schools selected from Oregon than any other state because The Lemelson Foundation, aimed at supporting entrepreneurs and inventors, is based in Portland and wanted to encourage educational opportunities for local students.

“We’re not a recruiting tool for MIT,” Schuler said. “We’re a recruiting tool for inventors.”

The InvenTeams program calls for students to identify a problem to solve, research it and develop a prototype. Three other Oregon schools have received the grant since InvenTeams started in 2002.

Students at Westview and Hillsboro high schools say they are excited to test their engineering skills.

Reilly Hamilton, a Hillsboro High junior, will lead a team in developing a car attachment to warn drivers of the distance and speed of the vehicle in front of it, an effort to reduce accidents.

“I think it shows there are a number of students today that are enthusiastic about their education and they are dedicated to improving society,” said Hamilton, 16.

Programs such as InvenTeams help groom the next generation of inventors, said Don Domes, a Hillsboro High technology instructor overseeing the project.

“We’re just not graduating enough kids” who go on to work in scientific and mathematical careers, Domes said.

At Westview High in Beaverton, about 10 students are researching an attachment to a graphing calculator that allows the visually impaired to feel graphs.

Eric Walters, a Westview physics teacher, says the lessons learned go well beyond what textbooks provide. Students are working with Texas Instruments Inc.

“It’ll teach them life skills as far as communication and working in groups, how you deal with stress, meeting deadlines,” Walters said.

Gresham High students will create a drip-irrigation system to water household plants. Newberg High students want to develop a portable, lightweight Stirling generator to provide electricity in remote villages.

“This is meant to be collaborative; it’s not meant to be competitive,” Domes said. “It’s going to hopefully launch a deeper sense of socially responsible innovation and invention.”

6th Generation iPods?

Thursday, October 26th, 2006

Here’s an image from a patent Apple recently filed. This could be what future iPods will look like!

New iPod

It uses touch buttons around the edge of the screen as opposed to normal push buttons. I wonder what happens as it bumps around in your pocket!