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CCDS InvenTeam Presents Invention at MIT, Wins Award For Technical Achievement

CCDS InvenTeam Presents Invention at MIT, Wins Award For Technical Achievement

Cincinnati Country Day School's InvenTeam attended EurekaFest “Where High School Teams Display World-Class Inventions” in June 2024 to present the patent-pending invention the team worked on extensively throughout the past year, after being selected as one of eight teams across the country for the grant.

The CCDS InvenTeam used this opportunity to address bicycle safety by inventing a safe passing distance indicator, which the team has named the IllumiLane, for road bicycles that improves road bike safety by increasing bicyclist and driver awareness of each other.

EurekaFest, which is hosted on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) campus, is an event that empowers student inventors, honors role models, and encourages creativity and problem-solving. Programming features the 2023 Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams, which are composed of high school students from across the country who received an InvenTeam grant to build a working prototype to solve a real-world problem in their community or beyond. 

“[Wednesday] morning began with the InvenTeam's flawless presentation to a packed audience at EurekaFest,” said Jamie Back, Upper School teacher and InvenTeam co-educator. “The team fielded audience questions with ease, so much so that throughout the day people continued to approach Angela Barber-Joiner and me to tell us how polished, knowledgeable, and passionate the team was during the presentation.”

Later that day during the EurekaFest closing ceremony, the CCDS InvenTeam was announced as the recipient of two of the three possible awards: the “Excellence in Communications Award” for their well-written monthly blogs, community and media outreach, and consistent social media presence and the “Golden Beaver Award.” The Golden Beaver Award recipient is determined by a member of Beaver Works, an educational partner with Lincoln Laboratory and MIT School of Engineering. The representative selects one team for excellence in technical achievement.

“We heard the name ‘Cincinnati Country Day School’ announced, and the entire team froze, then Angela [Barber-Joiner, co-educator] and I burst into tears as the rest of the team erupted in cheers,” said Jamie Back. “Yes, a person who works with MIT chose our team as the 2024 winner of the Golden Beaver Award, which is pretty much the award for the best overall invention. We are so proud of our entire team!”

Country Day’s team’s patent-pending invention has four integral parts that will help bicyclists be safer while cycling on the road: an “always-running” light to alert motorists of their presence, a turn signal, a green laser line that projects onto the ground on each side of the bicycle to indicate the legal passing distance to drivers, and an AI system that alerts the bicyclist when a motor vehicle is approaching. Over 100,000 bicyclists are injured or killed every year in the United States. In addition, the number of preventable deaths from biking accidents increased by 44% between 2011 and 2020.

The CCDS InvenTeam members include Ayaan Arif `25, Alex Back `25, Donovan Gray `25, Kate Kranias `26, Lucia Murdoch `25, Kevin Pearson `25, and Jason Starodub `26, with co-educators Angela Barber-Joiner and Jamie Back. In addition to participating in EurekaFest, team members also toured the Boston area, with highlights including the MIT Museum, Boston Commons, the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, and college tours of Tufts University, Northeastern University, Harvard University, and Boston University. Click here for photos of their adventures around the Boston area and at EurekaFest.