Student Inventors Receive Invitation to EurekaFest at MIT

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Project Based Learning Coordinator Dr. Don Wilson, left, discusses details of a planned trip to Massachusetts Institution of Technology with InvenTeam students in CV Tech’s Makerspace Lab. Also pictured is Destany Pierce, of Mustang, (top), Cooper Hollingsworth, of Mustang, (bottom) and Sierra Ritchie, of Yukon.

EL RENO – Fitness and activity tracker watches rake in $5 billion in annual sales worldwide, according to data trackers at

Forecasts consumers love wearable tech, which is currently sold in watches, wristbands, eyewear and even shoes.

A team of students at Canadian Valley Technology Center’s El Reno Campus is attempting to ride the wave with a new concept – the “fit belt.”

A lot of very smart people with ties to Massachusetts Institute of Technology are intrigued enough to invite the students to Cambridge, Mass., to share their invention.

CV Tech’s InvenTeam is comprised of seven students, representing four area high schools and three career program areas.

The team, along with two CV Tech staff members, have begun fundraising efforts to pay for airfare so they can attend the June 2019 EurekaFest. The invitation-only event showcases working prototypes of intentions developed by high school and college teams nationwide each year.

MIT’s School of Engineering annually chooses grant winners of up to $10,000 to celebrate “InvenTeams” and to inspire students to pursue creative lives and careers. Grants are courtesy of a foundation started by renowned American inventor Jerome H. Lemelson.

The foundation also picks up the tab for room and board on campus during the June 18-21 event in which 15 InvenTeams from across the country will discuss how they moved through challenges and built an invention during the school year.

So far, nobody has commercially produced a smart waist product with an artificial intelligence on board, said Sierra Ritchie, a Yukon High School senior who the InvenTeam administrative student leader. She is enrolled in Early Care and Education at CV Tech.

The team actually conceived the idea last school year while spending time in CV Tech’s Makerspace Lab, Ritchie said. Makerspaces are places in which people with shared interests can meet to share ideas and knowledge in order to create or build things.

“We came in during break, and it became a weekly thing,” she said.

The fit belt concept will allow wearers to keep track of various activities and possibly measure body mass index (BMI), Ritchie said.

All seven students have defined roles on the team. According to InvenTeam rules, students must organize the work and build the invention themselves.

The planned fit belt device ideally will utilize sensors for measurements and then will connect with a cell phone to track data, said Dr. Don Wilson, project advisor and CV Tech’s project-based learning coordinator. The device is expected to connect wirelessly with Apple’s Health app, he said.

Four of the other InvenTeam members are enrolled in CV Tech’s Computer Information Systems program. They are Perry Burkhart, of Union City, Chase Weaver, of Piedmont, Reed Kessler, of Mustang, and Cooper Hollingsworth, of Mustang. Also on the team is Diesel Technology student Destany Pierce, of Yukon, and Hannah Howie, of Yukon, who is enrolled in Early Care and Education.


Jerome H. Lemelson is recognized as one of the premiere inventors in U.S. history, and he is the holder of over 600 hundred patents. He earned an average of one patent per month for 40 years, starting in the early 1950s. Among the technologies made possible by his inventions:

* Audio cassette players * Automated warehouse systems * Bar code readers * Camcorders * Cordless telephones * Fax machines * Illuminated highway markers * Industrial robots * Talking thermometers * Video cassette recorders (VCRs)


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