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Invention Convention US Nationals Held Recently In Dearborn

Metro Detroit Community NewsDearborn, MI - /PRNewswire/ -- The Henry Ford hosted over 435 youth inventors from across the country at the ninth annual RTX Invention Convention U.S. Nationals June 5-7, 2024.

In addition to competing, participants had the opportunity to pitch their inventions to the casting team from ABC's Shark Tank and meet Invention Convention student alumni who recently secured patents for their inventions.

The multi-day experience culminated on Friday, June 7 with an awards ceremony hosted by The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation correspondent Albert Lawrence. More than 77 awards, including cash prizes, trophies, medals, and patent applications were recognized.

The list of winners can be found here and many youth inventors focused their inventions on creative solutions designed to tackle some of the world's most pressing challenges.

BlindSpace was invented by Arnav Chaphalkar, an 8th grade student from Illinois, who won 4 awards: Most Innovative Award presented by RTX, Patent Application Award presented by WilmerHale, 8th Grade – 1st Place Award and Health and Medical Award presented by Danaher Foundation. BlindSpace is a revolutionary AI-powered device designed to empower blind and visually impaired individuals. With the simple press of a button on a walking stick, BlindSpace captures a photo of the surrounding environment and delivers a verbal description through an earpiece, providing just the right amount of information—no need to fumble with complex apps or touchscreens. This seamless hardware-software integration sets BlindSpace apart, allowing users to navigate unknown environments.

Other themes emerged in the problems the inventors identified and sought to solve, including Environment and Sustainability, Health and Medical and Safety. One essential strength of the program is building lifelong confidence in invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Invention Convention Worldwide is a K-12 invention education program aligned with national and state education standards that teaches students problem-identification, problem-solving, entrepreneurship and creativity skills. The program builds lifelong confidence in invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship. The vision of Invention Convention Worldwide is to bring Invention Education to students everywhere.

"RTX has supported Invention Convention for over 30 years with funding, leadership and volunteers to help inspire and encourage students to develop an interest in STEM career paths," said Juan de Bedout, senior vice president & chief technology officer at RTX. "Our partnership with Invention Convention provides an intentional bridge between education and industry – preparing students across the country to be visionaries and inventors."

More than 178,000 K-12 inventors from across the country participated in Invention Convention Worldwide programs during the 2023-2024 school year, with the hopes of advancing to the U.S. national competition.  

Students compete at local and regional levels before advancing to the U.S. national competition. To participate, students must submit a video presentation of their invention, a prototype, an inventor's logbook showing the journey of their invention process, and a poster board highlighting key points of the invention process. 

Select finalists from U.S. Nationals will be invited to compete virtually against Nationals finalists from Mexico in the Invention Convention Americas 2024 presented by RTX, with an awards ceremony taking place on August 22, 2024.  

Organizations interested in bringing the year-long program to their region can get more information at inventionconvention.org/contact.

About The Henry Ford

Located in Dearborn, Michigan, The Henry Ford is a globally recognized destination that fosters inspiration and learning from hands-on encounters with artifacts representing the most comprehensive collection anywhere focusing on innovation, ingenuity, and resourcefulness. Its unique venues include Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, Greenfield Village, Ford Rouge Factory Tour, Benson Ford Research Center, Giant Screen Experience and Henry Ford Academy, a public charter high school. The Henry Ford inspires every individual to unlock their potential and help shape a better future through a variety of channels, including its online presence thehenryford.org, its Emmy®-winning national television series, The Henry Ford's Innovation Nation, and The Henry Ford's Invention Convention Worldwide, a global K-12 invention education curricular program that teaches students problem-solving, entrepreneurship, and creativity skills. With the support of a growing community of affiliates and supporters, The Henry Ford is the home of RTX Invention Convention U.S. Nationals, Invention Convention Americas, and Invention Convention Michigan.

About RTX 

RTX is a leading aerospace and defense company. Our global team of 180,000 employees pushes the limits of known science and redefines how we connect and protect our world. We are advancing aviation, building smarter defense systems, and creating innovations to take us deeper into space. The company is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia.

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