Drew Charter Students Among 13 Teams Nationwide Developing Inventions with Support of Lemelson-MIT

A team of 16 students from Charles R. Drew Charter Senior Academy in Atlanta is among 13 teams nationwide awarded the prestigious Lemelsom-MIT InvenTeams® grant to invent solutions that solve real-world problems. Since the announcement of their award in the fall, the team has been hard at work on a device to record police-civilian interaction in personal automobiles.

“As a police officer approaches the vehicle, a recorded warning that the interaction is being recorded and will be available to the public is played,” said team representative Alexandria Girault. “At the same time the driver of the vehicle can begin recording a video that will ultimately be uploaded to a public domain. All police interactions that are recorded will be temporarily stored in a private database and will eventually be published to a public site. Through the crowdsourcing of videos collected by our device, we will increase transparency in police interactions with the community while creating a library of police work that is attached to each police officer.”

InvenTeams are groups of high school students, educators and mentors that receive up to $10K in grant funding to invent technological solutions to real-world problems of their own choosing. The InvenTeams present their invention to their hometown communities in February and March, and showcase their final invention prototypes at the Lemelson-MIT Program’s annual culminating event, EurekaFest! EurekaFest! celebrates the inventive spirit and takes place virtually June 15 – 17, 2021.

The Charles R. Drew Charter Senior Academy team will be hosting a free virtual community event on February 22 at 6:30 PM EST to showcase their progress and solicit feedback. Those interested can register at https://lemelson.mit.edu/news-events/events/charles-r-drew-senior-academy-inventeam-mid-grant-technical-review .

“Since 2006, the InvenTeam initiative has been changing the way educators teach and providing young people – especially young women and students from underrepresented backgrounds – with creative problem-solving skills to flourish in college and career for over 15 years,” explained Stephanie Couch, Executive Director of Lemelson-LMIT.

“InvenTeam students rely on inquiry and hands-on problem solving as they integrate lessons from science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to develop invention prototypes,” said Couch. “Interactive, self-directed learning are essential for experiencing invention.”

The InvenTeam initiative teaches students to work in teams, while collaborating with intended users of their inventions. They partner with organizations in their communities to enrich their experiences. “Most of all, students learn to move forward through challenges and celebrate ‘Eureka!’ moments,” Couch added.

After the InvenTeam experience, inventive cultures often continue to prosper at schools through further development of InvenTeam prototypes or the pursuit of new invention projects. To date, twelve InvenTeams have patents for their InvenTeam projects, although, patents are not a requirement.

Other InvenTeams this school year include students from Texas, Michigan, Massachusetts, Florida, New Jersey, New York, California, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Learn more about the program at www.lemelson.mit.edu/inventeams.


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 at MIT, an institution with a strong ongoing commitment to creating meaningful opportunities for K-12 STEM. Visit Lemelson.MIT.edu