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Stockbridge InvenTeam applies for patent

 The Stockbridge InvenTeam is creating a device to help study the ocean floor and coral reef habitats. They are one of 14 schools across the country to receive a $10,000 grant from the Lemelson-MIT program.
The Stockbridge InvenTeam is creating a device to help study the ocean floor and coral reef habitats. They are one of 14 schools across the country to receive a $10,000 grant from the Lemelson-MIT program. (WILX)
Published: Sep. 11, 2020 at 7:00 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Last year, the Stockbridge’s InvenTeam was finalizing their ocean lander that studies coral reefs in the American Samoa.

Right now, they’re applying for a patent and are in the middle of an application that could make them company owners.

“One of the things that was suggested was for us to form our own LLC so we’ll get more on the business side and that way we can protect our patent and work with our, hopefully multiple patents, as a separate entity separate from the school as sort of a team environment with all of the students being co-owners if you will,” said InvenTeam mentor Robert Richards.

They just received a patent for their first new underwater camera and water quality monitoring system. The patent process took four years to complete.

“For me, that was kind of my last accomplishment before finishing high school because I’m graduating and just to get that in was like a final hurrah before I left,” said student Bailey Heidrich.

And, now they’re going through a very similar process for the ocean lander.

‘It’s such an achievement because you know we’re from Stockbridge and people have this idea like we only graduate with 120 kids at the most," said student Mayzie Wright. “We’re just a little farm town and I think that we’re showing no matter how big or how small your school is, if you put your time and your effort and your work into it, you can really achieve your goals that you want to achieve and that we can make a difference.”

The Stockbridge InvenTeam was one of 14 schools last year to get a $10,000 grant to work on their ocean lander.

“We are a really unique program. A lot of schools don’t have anything like this and I think we’ve really made a name for ourselves with all the work that we’ve done,” said Bailey Heidrich.

So, not only is the team in the middle of perfecting their oceanic lander, but they’re smack dab in the middle of writing and applying for a provisional patent. And, they’ve got another project up their sleeves.

“We’ve been working on personal protective equipment, so right now I’m in the school running some samples. The ear savers that would go on the back of your mask to protect your ears so that the students can print these in the fall," said InvenTeam mentor Robert Richards. "We have an order for more face shields, we’ve already produced over 700 of these face shields so that would be a project we’re working on in the fall.”

The team is working on projects that will help people halfway across the world-and right here on our own front lines. Their mission is to make an impact on their community.

Stockbridge is learning in-person as of now, so the InvenTeam is able to get their hands back on the lander.

WILX will be following this story.

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