Cy Springs students showcase potentially life-saving invention at MIT

June 24, 2017

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Cypress Springs High School students participate in the Lemelson-MIT 11th annual EurekaFest showcase June 16-17 in Cambridge, Mass. Pictured, from left, are students Eldyn Castillo, Akram Soubaa, Ethan Ellis and Fernando Garza; educator sponsors Mo Wong and Robyn Tompkins; and students Henry Nguyen and Orion Jefferson.

June 24, 2017—Cypress Springs High School’s 2016-2017 InvenTeam, one of 15 teams selected to participate in the Lemelson-MIT Program, completed a year of hard work at the 11th annual EurekaFest, June 16-17 in Cambridge, Mass.

The InvenTeam initiative, in its 14th year, inspires youth to solve real-world problems through invention, utilizing hands-on, active learning strategies. Using a Lemelson-MIT grant of $8,700, the Cypress Springs team developed an electric heating system to clear condensation from a firefighter’s face mask.

“After speaking with local firefighters at a Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department station and training center, we learned that fog developed on the interior surface of their face masks was a common problem and often led to injuries and fatalities,” said Mo Wong, Cypress Springs campus instructional coach and InvenTeam sponsor.

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The Cypress Springs InvenTeam prepares to showcase its 2016-2017 project at the 11th annual EurekaFest. Pictured, from left, are students Henry Nguyen, Eldyn Castillo, Akram Soubaa, Ethan Ellis and Fernando Garza, educator sponsors Mo Wong and Robyn Tompkins and student Orion Jefferson.

Six students—team leader Orion Jefferson, assistant team leader Henry Nguyen, Eldyn Castillo, Akram Soubaa, Ethan Ellis and Fernando Garza—joined educator sponsors Wong, Isaac Sanchez and Robyn Tompkins to present their project at the EurekaFest. Dr. Cheryl Henry, principal, and Kenya Turner, director of high school curriculum and instruction, also accompanied the team on the trip.

“EurekaFest was a very rewarding and fun-filled experience,” Wong said. “It was gratifying to watch students proudly represent our school, our community and our city after the countless hours they all put in to make our idea become a reality.”

Panther students presented and showcased the prototype at the MIT Stata Center to crowds of other students, educators and inventors from across the country. In addition, collegiate grant winners presented their work and inspired the high school students to continue inventing and never give up.

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Cypress Springs students, from left, Fernando Garza, Akram Soubaa and Henry Nguyen, set up their presentation at the 11th annual EurekaFest. 

Undergraduate grant recipients shared how their high school InvenTeam experience led them to continue their education in STEM. While at EurekaFest, Cypress Springs students also celebrated and performed team challenges with students from the other grant recipient schools who shared the same passion in creativity and hard work. The EurekaFest events ended with a finale at the Boston Museum of Science.

“In the upcoming years, we hope to continue our efforts in encouraging student innovation and seek out other inventions that will improve our community,” Wong said. “We thank the Lemelson-MIT Program for the grant; our school and district for their commitment to our students and their education; and our community for supporting us through mentorship.”

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