Press Release

May 23, 2018

Hundreds of Nation’s Top Student Inventors to Compete at Third Annual K-12 National Invention Convention at The Henry Ford

(Dearborn, MI) – The nation’s top student inventors will compete on June 1st at the third annual K-12 National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Expo (NICEE) presented by United Technologies Corporation at Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn, Michigan. NICEE is the only national celebration of young K-12 inventors and entrepreneurs in the United States. Each year, winners of affiliate and partner competitions across the U.S. are issued invitations to NICEE to showcase their inventions and compete for prizes and recognition. More than 100,000 K-12 inventors from across the United States competed to become one of the 400 invitees at NICEE.  

The students’ inventions will be displayed on the floor of Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation alongside some of the most iconic inventions in American history.  

“What better place to have the inventors and innovators of tomorrow present their creations than at the home of those that changed the world,” said Patricia Mooradian, president and CEO, The Henry Ford. “We are honored to host these bright, talented and inspiring students who are working on building a better future.”

“The thought of presenting my invention in the same hall as the Model T is amazing and totally humbling,” said Jake Gendreau, 7th grade inventor of the award-winning “Get-A-Grip,” a tool to assist people with poor grip strength, poor grip geometry, and lack of fine motor skills to properly brush their teeth. 

Gendreau, like many of the student inventors, drew the inspiration for his invention by observing the problems being experienced by those around him.  The inspiration for Get-A-Grip came from Gendreau’s Great Grandma Zell, who had painful and malformed hands due to arthritis.  “It is my dream,” Gendreau earnestly explained “that someday I will develop practical, wonderful and meaningful solutions to problems that plague the world.”   
“This determination to solve problems, now, while they are young, is something we see over and over again in state and local invention conventions across the United States,” noted Danny Briere, CEO of The STEMIE Coalition, the nonprofit organizer of NICEE.  “K-12 invention education is tapping into students’ innate desires, and abilities, to identify problems and create meaningful solutions.”

“Today’s inventors are different, we have more information, technology and resources than ever before,” noted 9th-grade Veronica Lewis, inventor of NOMAD (Navigational Ocean Mammal Assistance Drone), which prevents marine mammal beachings.  “A hundred years ago it was all about creating the first . . . the first lightbulb, the first car, the first telegraph. For me, inventing can also be about converging proven technologies in a new way to solve big problems.”

 “Encouraging young innovators like Jake and Veronica is the pathway to America’s future, and the future of our workforce,” noted presenting sponsor United Technologies Corporation’s Mary Lombardo, Vice President of Global Engineering for UTC Climate, Controls & Security.  “The students at NICEE never fail to inspire and amaze us.”  

“The NICEE conference highlights the power of invention education,” noted David Coronado, program officer with The Lemelson Foundation, a conference sponsor and funder of STEMIE programming.  “These young inventors demonstrate the skills and mindsets that are critical to our collective social and economic future here in the U.S. and around the world.”  

About The STEMIE Coalition
The STEMIE Coalition is a global consortium of invention education stakeholders whose aim is to formalize project-based invention and entrepreneurship education in primary and secondary schools worldwide, with a near-term emphasis on the U.S. and a 2018-onwards vision to globalize across the world. STEMIE currently has statewide programs in 18 states, invention convention presence in 46 states, and will be active in all 50 states within the next three years. A list of STEMIE’s Affiliate programs can be found here:  Twitter: @STEMIECoalition

About United Technologies Corporation
United Technologies Corp., based in Farmington, Connecticut, provides high-technology systems and services to the building and aerospace industries. By combining a passion for science with precision engineering, the company is creating smart, sustainable solutions the world needs. For more information about the company, visit our website at or follow us on Twitter: @UTC.  UTC has supported the Connecticut Invention Convention for more than two decades, and in 2015, was one of two founding partners that created The STEMIE Coalition.

About The Henry Ford
The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan is an internationally-recognized history destination that explores the American experience of innovation, resourcefulness, and ingenuity that helped shape America. A national historic landmark with an unparalleled Archive of American Innovation, The Henry Ford is a force for sparking curiosity and inspiring tomorrow’s innovators. More than 1.77 million visitors annually experience its five attractions: Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, Greenfield Village, Ford Rouge Factory Tour, Benson Ford Research Center and The Henry Ford Giant Screen Experience. A continually expanding array of content available online provides anytime, anywhere access. The Henry Ford is also home to Henry Ford Academy, a public charter high school which educates over 500 students a year on the institution’s campus. In 2014, The Henry Ford premiered its first-ever national television series, The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation, showcasing present-day change-makers and The Henry Ford’s artifacts and unique visitor experiences. Hosted by news correspondent and humorist, Mo Rocca, this Emmy®-winning weekly half-hour show airs Saturday mornings on CBS. For more information please visit our website