The Americas High School InvenTeam, which was one of 14 recipients nationwide to earn a $10,000 Lemelson-MIT grant, will be presenting their project via a webcast Friday afternoon.
The team is scheduled to be featured at 3 p.m. today, June 17, in the 2020 Lemelson-MIT EurekaFest via a webcast.
The team of innovative science and robotics students are on the final leg of their journey, which started when they developed their plan for an environmental and sustainability project and then were selected for the prestigious Lemelson-MIT grant to bring the project to fruition.
On February 18, as part of their Mid-Grant Technical Review, the Americas InvenTeam invited community members, elected officials and SISD administrators to learn more about their project and to support their journey in completion of their project.
At that time, they were working to fundraise and gain financial support from the community to travel to the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. to present their project at EurekaFest.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, travel plans were cancelled, and the team was unable to meet in person to continue their project. However, the Lemelson-MIT officials asked them to record a video about their project that will be featured today in the webcast for the 2020 EurekaFest.
The Americas InvenTeam had already developed an innovative plan and invented a machine to recycle plastic bottles into a refined or shredded material, which can be recycled into a polyester fabric to make clothes for the city’s homeless population.
“If you go into a landfill, it’s just overflowing with plastic waste which is not good,” said Americas High School senior and InvenTeam member George Talavera. “We hope our device can diminish or at least minimize the amount of plastic waste for the good of our environment.”
At the presentation for the El Paso community, the team explained their project, included booths to present their technical, financial, sustainability and communications efforts, and concluded with a Q&A session to provide more insight to the SISD staff and community members.
“As teachers we see the best in our students and we know that there is no limit to their potential,” said Americas High School computer science and robotics teacher and InvenTeam sponsor Francisco Nolasco. “They need to know that they are the difference makers and we are here to help them realize that.”
At the community presentation, a representative for Congresswoman Veronica Escobar acknowledged the students for their impressive work in earning the grant, which is highly competitive and gives high school students a challenging, hands-on experience to solve real-world problems. He presented a recognition letter from Escobar and invited the team to present their project at her environmental summit.
“I am so proud of these kids,” said Americas High School physics/forensics science teacher and InvenTeam sponsor Elizabeth Mullins. “It was very exciting to see them get the recognition from the Congresswoman… I know that each student will be very successful in the future.”
The Americas High School InvenTeam students are George Talavera, David Banda, Dennis Carroll, Ciarah Lebron, Nandini Parikh, Giuliana Poggio, Ethan Lopez, Andrea Garcia, Erick Medina, Sofia Perez, Isaac Hernandez, Giselda Lopez, Emilio Arreola, Gustavo Ramirez, Leoncio Garcia, Alonzo Perez, Marco Macias, and Kevin Gomez.