With help from the MakesWhatsNext patent program, the U.S. Patent Office issued U.S. Patent 11,230,836 on Jan. 25 to the team of 14 student inventors, including 12 female students and five educators, the statement said. A number of female students on the team are interested in pursuing careers in STEM, and several of them are already attending college and majoring in STEM-related fields.
“Being named on a patent is a significant achievement for these young inventors, and I’m glad our program helped make that possible,” said Tom Wong, Microsoft patent attorney and MakeWhatsNext patent program volunteer. “It is also gratifying to see that several of these young female inventors have decided to pursue a university education in a STEM field after graduating from high school.”
The team includes Braelynn Cameron, Kacie Sizer, Makenzie Gossett, Emma Bennett, Alex Tighe, Lacy Herdman, Kylie Mader, Rhia Thomas, Masonn Hayslip, Tyler Jenkins, Madison North, Lily Hopkins, Alexa Cunningham and Arizona Henderson. They are led by professors Kyle Bandy, Tina Harris, Tom Jenkins, Jim Shaner and Jennifer Tropp.
Jenkins said having the opportunity in high school to participate in the InvenTeam program is a “once in a lifetime opportunity.”
“Being able to go beyond that to learn more about the patent process, work with local and global partners in product development, and now receive a U.S. patent is an experience that has enriched the education of not only our team, but of all the students, staff and members of the Greenon community who have supported us on this journey,” he said.