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Grants to USA Educators to Lead High School
Student Teams in a STEM Invention Challenge

Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams Grant

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) School of Engineering and The Lemelson Foundation

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

09/06/22 5:00 PM EDT


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Grants of up to $7,500 to USA and territories STEM educators affiliated with high schools to lead high school student teams in a hands-on STEM challenge. Selected teacher-student teams choose a real-world problem and collaborate to invent an innovative technological solution. Funds may be allocated for research, materials, and learning experiences related to the project.

The Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam initiative, created by the Lemelson-MIT Program, offers an unparalleled opportunity for high school students to cultivate their creativity and experience invention. InvenTeams are teams of high school students, educators, and mentors which receive grants to invent technological solutions to real-world problems. Each InvenTeam chooses its own problem to solve.

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. Interactive, self-directed learning coupled with STEM curricula are essential for experiencing invention.

Students learn to work in teams, while collaborating with intended users of their inventions. The InvenTeam initiative relies on this collaborative approach to build problem-solving skills and foster creativity, which is essential to invent. InvenTeams display and discuss their prototypes with each other and award-winning inventors at EurekaFest. 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. 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. 

Youth involvement is required for part of the application process. There must be evidence of youth input in the invention proposal section of the application. Many educators recruit youth early to develop a stronger proposal for the initial application.

Each InvenTeam creates an individual path due to project variation, but most experience the cycle through three phases:

Concept phase

  • Gather additional research about users' needs, competitive products, and existing patents
  • Brainstorm ideas for appropriate solutions

Design Phase

  • Conceptualize several solutions
  • Investigate the feasibility of each solution
  •  Select the best solution · Create a detailed design using tools, such as SolidWorks 3D CAD software · Determine materials and resources, considering Sustainable Design

Build Phase

  • Construct and test prototypes
  • Field test prototypes
  • Build alpha prototype

Invention Ideas: InvenTeam projects span many fields like assistive devices, environmental technologies, consumer goods, wearable technology and more. Inventors are encouraged to identify important problems in their own communities. Local problems tend to highly motivate youth as they create technological solutions to improve the lives of others. 

The grant may be used to purchase materials and supplies necessary for the discovery process and expenses related to product development and team-building efforts (including snacks, meals, and team polo shirts). Funds may be used for a teacher fellowship if the project is conducted as an extracurricular activity or club. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 178991

Number of Grants:

Up to 8 teams nationwide will be selected for the 2022-2023 school year as InvenTeam grant recipients.

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Grants are up to $7,500 each.
- Educators who facilitate the project outside of the school day may allot up to $3,000 of an InvenTeam grant towards fellowships.
- The Program will cover room and board for eight team members (six students and two chaperones) to cover EurekaFest costs.

Term of Contract:

The grant period runs from October - June corresponding with the academic year.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Teams of 9th -12th grade students and their educator(s) may apply. (The optimal size of an InvenTeam is 8-15 high school youth.) Successful InvenTeams teachers usually have backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics. Teachers from other disciplines may also apply.

Educators and their teams may apply for the InvenTeams grant. It is the educator who applies for the grant. The educator also recruits students, monitors funds, and supports students throughout the process. The educator is advised to work with students in the spirit of self-directed learning. Consider the educator as a coach on a sports team or director of a musical ensemble.
- An InvenTeam can be comprised of a small group of students (6-8) students, as an extracurricular activity, or an entire class. Teams with fewer than six students or more than 20 students can be challenging. Eight to 15 students on an InvenTeam are productive and manageable.

An educator and/or a school who has received an InvenTeam grant must wait three grant cycles before applying again.

Funds may not be used to purchase capital equipment such as computers, for professional services (e.g.: intellectual property legal protection, engineering services), or for substitute educators.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Lemelson-MIT will host an informational webinar for applicants July 26, 2022 at 7:00 PM EST. All applicants should consider attending the webinar to receive information about the application.

To register:

Pre-Application Information:

2022-2023 InvenTeam Grant Timeline:
• Application opens: July 15, 2022
• Application webinar: July 26, 2022
• Initial application deadline: September 6, 2022 at 5:00 PM EDT.
• Up to 8 InvenTeams announced: October 2021
• Invention development by InvenTeam grantees: October 2022-June 2023
• EurekaFest 2023 for InvenTeam grantees: Mid-June 2023

As a grants initiative, InvenTeams work on a yearly cycle. The grant period runs from October-June corresponding with the academic year. Each InvenTeam creates an individual path due to project variation, but most experience the cycle through three phases (see Description above).

InvenTeams are encouraged to partner with organizations in their local community for additional donations and resources. Local partnerships are necessary to raise funds for the team to travel to EurekaFest and help sustain invention projects after an InvenTeam grant.

Lemelson-MIT Program representatives may visit InvenTeams during the grant cycle. In addition:
1. All teams are expected to present and showcase a working prototype of their invention at EurekaFest in June of their grant year on MIT’s campus.
2. All teams are expected to hold a mid-grant technical review to demonstrate their progress and gather important feedback from beneficiaries and community stakeholders.
3. All teams are expected to comply with the administrative guidelines outlined by the Lemelson-MIT Program, which include financial reporting, adhering to program deadlines, and external communications.
4. Commitment from the educator(s) and school administration to continue discussions and collaboration with Lemelson-MIT after the InvenTeam year.

About the program:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

For further information and to apply online:

For more information please contact:

The Lemelson-MIT Program
222 Third Street, Suite 0300
Cambridge, MA 02142

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

Array ( [0] => American Samoa (USA); [1] => Guam (USA); [2] => Puerto Rico (USA); [3] => Virgin Islands (USA); [4] => Northern Mariana Islands (USA); )

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA);   Guam (USA);   Puerto Rico (USA);   Virgin Islands (USA);   Northern Mariana Islands (USA);

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

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