This year, Newton North is one of 16 high schools nationwide to be selected as an InvenTeam. InvenTeam, funded by the Lemelson Foundation and administered by MIT’s School of Engineering, celebrates outstanding innovators and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention.
Challenged to apply its STEM skills to solve a real-world problem, the Newton North team developed a proposal to invent a Pedestrian Alert System. The World Health Organization, naming 2011-2020 the Decade of Action for Road Safety, notes that road traffic injuries are one of the top 3 leading causes of death for ages 5-44. In 2004, road traffic injuries resulted in more than 1.27 million deaths—almost equal to the number of deaths caused by HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined. The Newton North team found that Ethiopia has among the highest road traffic fatalities per vehicle.
In October, the Newton North team won an InvenTeam grant of $10,000 for its proposal to invent a Pedestrian Alert System to warn drivers of crossing pedestrians, with the ultimate aim to help pedestrians in developing countries safely cross dangerous roads. The grant can be used only to purchase materials for experimenting and prototyping. The actual fabrication must be funded by the team. (You can donate online to help the team meet its goal.) In June, the team will present a working prototype at the MIT EurekaFest. See this brief video of the team presenting to its project mentors.
The Newton North InvenTeam is nearing the final phase of the project — building a working prototype. Updates of the team’s recent activities and milestones can be found at nnhsinventeam.com.