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Oakland Park’s Northeast High School was recently awarded a Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam $10,000 grant to create a mosquito breeding disruptor – a device to deter mosquitoes from laying eggs in standing water. Northeast High is one of only 15 high schools nationwide selected as an InvenTeam this year.
InvenTeams are teams of high school students, teachers and mentors who receive grants of up to $10,000 each to invent technological solutions to real-world problems. This initiative of the Lemelson-MIT Program aims to inspire a new generation of inventors.
L. Clara Mabour, biology teacher at Northeast High, initiated the InvenTeam application process last spring. Five years ago, Mabour was a student on another winning Northeast High InvenTeam that created a portable water sanitation system to be used after natural disasters. The team was invited to the 2013 White House Science Fair, where they persuaded President Obama to ride the bicycle that powered their invention.
The Northeast High InvenTeam is creating an autonomous, adaptable and environmentally safe device that breaks the surface tension of stagnant water, in shallow containers, underground sewer systems or ponds and lakes. Their goal is to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs in water sources and then spreading mosquito vectored illnesses like Zika and Malaria to humans in urban tropical environments.
Over the next nine months, the Northeast High InvenTeam will develop its mosquito breeding disruptor. In June, the students will showcase a prototype of their invention at EurekaFest at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. EurekaFest is a multi-day celebration designed to empower a legacy of inventors through activities that inspire youth, honor role models and encourage creativity and problem solving.