CEC Tribots survive first-round cut of MIT event

For the second time in four years the TriBots, the extra-curricular club sponsored by the CEC’s Engineering and Technology Department, have made it into the second round of the Lemelson/MIT InvenTeams program.

The CEC team, which was formed during the spring of 2012 and made up of then freshman and sophomores from all three high schools, found out this past April that their invention idea, a Static Oil Separator, was among the 300+ submissions that made it past the first round cuts and into the top 35 in this worldwide program.

“The members of this team had done a lot and they have done it on all on their own,” said said Scott Brown, CEC Engineering and Technology Instructor at the CEC and the InvenTeams’s sponsor and coach. “As the sponsor/coach my job was to bring a team together, introduce the program and then get out of the way. I was available to answer questions and give feedback but for the most part I gave them the space and tools to work and let them go to town.”

“I guess my biggest contribution was asking one of our English teachers to read over their proposal and then uploading their application to the Lemelson/MIT website.,” he added.

The InvenTeam initiative, which was created by the Lemelson-MIT Program, offers an unparalleled opportunity for high school students to cultivate their creativity and experience invention by introducing them to the World of Invention.

Relying on inquiry and hands-on problem solving the team members applied lessons from science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and developed a mockup of their invention idea and proved it can work. Throughout the entire process the team members have learned to work in teams even partnered with professionals in the communities to enrich their experience. Most of all, they have moved forward through challenges and celebrated some really need achievements.

“It was a challenge to conduct all of the research and get everything done we had to before that September 5th deadline” says Northgate HS senior and InvenTeams captain Cordell Kadlick. “Everyone on the team really worked hard and contributed greatly to this effort. Everything is now in the hands of the MIT judges who will review our work and determine whether or not we get the grant.”

Kadlick, who has been a member of the CEC TriBots since his sophomore year feels it’s an honor to have made it past the first cut and credits his grandfather with helping to build a mockup of their idea this past summer while he was visiting with them in Boston.

“I actually had the chance to attend the InvenTeams night at MIT while I was there and got to see some pretty amazing inventions, it helped to motivate me personally to work harder on the second part of the application,” he said. “One of my personal goals is to attend MIT after graduation.”

Now it is a waiting game for the CEC. According to the information they have been given they should know something around the end of September. If they get the grant, they will begin work almost immediately because this group will be Boston bound next June to share their invention and inspire the next group of the top 35.

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