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Fall River instructor recognized with select Lemelson-MIT Excite Award



Photo courtesy of Atlantis Charter School

Atlantis Charter School announced that STEM Academy instructor Alekzandr Hirschmann was recently honored with an Lemelson-MIT Excite Award. The award is given annually to a select group of educators across the country who have applied to receive a Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam® grant for the following school year and have been selected as a finalist. Award recipients participate in invention education learning opportunities as part of an all-expenses paid trip to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for the Lemelson-MIT Program’s annual EurekaFest, a multi-day invention celebration in mid-June.

Only 35 educators in the United States receive the award each year.

“Excite Award educators who attend EurekaFest leave the event prepared to ignite an interest among high school students in science, math, engineering and invention,” said Leigh Estabrooks, invention education officer from the Lemelson-MIT Program. “They gain new techniques to empower their students through problem solving and encourage a sustainable culture of invention in their school and community.”

Educators are selected for this award based on their capacity to lead a year-long, open-ended invention project with students at their school. At EurekaFest, Excite Award recipients meet and are inspired by current InvenTeams, teams of high school students, teachers and mentors that received grants of up to $10,000 each to invent technological solutions to real-world problems. Hirschmann will see the InvenTeam projects, learn more about the InvenTeam experience and attend hands-on workshops and discussions led by MIT professors about invention – unique technological solutions to real world problems.

“I am honored to have been selected for an Lemelson-MIT Excite Award, ” said Alekzandr Hirschmann. “Our invention would relate to the ocean, and Atlantis students would play a large role in identifying the problem we would attempt to solve. Whether we study energy creation, ways to mitigate our population’s impact on our environment, or ways to enhance the global food supply, Atlantis students would be in the unique position to solve a problem facing their community here on the SouthCoast of Massachusetts.”

Hirschmann, STEM instructor at Atlantis, initiated the InvenTeam application process in the spring of 2019 and will be invited to submit a final application for the InvenTeam grant after attending EurekaFest. Hirschmann will work with the students and mentors throughout the summer to finalize Atlantis’s grant application, which is due in September. Hirschmann will also reach out to community members with relevant expertise who can provide insight and guidance on how their invention can best serve the community.

A prestigious panel of judges composed of educators, researchers, staff and alumni from MIT, as well as former Lemelson-MIT award winners, will assemble in the fall and select the final InvenTeam grantees.

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