Young students invent, it is just their way. When a student adds to someone else's invention idea, telling them about multiple inventors on patents always gets a positive reaction! But really focusing on IP and invention was an unfulfilled promise until I first taught high school. High school students can produce ideas that rival those I heard daily during the pioneer days of personal computing. Over time, my classes began to resemble my early R&D experience. In 1982, I was employed by Tandy Corporation, developer of one of the earliest personal computers, the TRS-80. Tandy couldn’t recruit enough trained developers, so we often hired hobbyists, yet our department was a creative oasis! I would eventually be awarded 20 US patents. But the fact is that the invention process has an uncanny equalizing effect; anyone, at any age, can invent. When I left industry two decades later I still worked with many of these same “untrained” engineers, their names listed alongside mine on US patents. This equalizing effect is both humbling, and very important to our students and ExplorTech’s mission!
ExplorTech is currently supporting Aledo High School's application to be one of the 15 team selected for the 2021-22 Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams program. The final application is due September 7, and if we are selected, the team will receive up to $10,000 to design and build an invention. We have partnered with the Botanical Research Institute of Texas to develop an AI digital imaging product to help them catalog their collection of 1.5 million plant specimens, housed at BRIT's Fort Worth facility adjoining Fort Worth's Botanical Gardens in the cultural district.
Watch this site for more details soon. If you are a North Texas student or educator, and would like to know more about the InvenTeams program and how ExplorTech can support you, please contact us soon.