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"March Madness for the Mind" Showcases Talents of Nation's Top Collegiate Inventors

Press Release Date 
Tuesday, 9 March, 2004
A high-tech emergency alert system, the next generation of rickshaws, and state-of-the-art athletic performance analysis technology are just some of the student projects that will be on display when The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, California hosts the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance's (NCIIA) Eight Annual "March Madness for the Mind" on Saturday, March 20.

Open to all museum guests, this special program will spotlight projects by 15 teams of engineering and science students at schools spanning California, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

E-Teams ("E" stands for excellence and entrepreneurship) of students, faculty and advisors have developed and designed a product or solution to a problem that will likely result in the licensing of a new product or technology, or the startup of an entrepreneurial venture.

"These students are transforming the future with their innovations," said Phil Weilerstein, executive director of the NCIIA. "The act of turning a creative idea into an innovative and viable product—while still in school—represents a new movement in education that gives students the opportunity to build the skills they need to be successful in a dynamic, collaborative workplace."

"The Tech celebrates technological innovation in all forms, and is proud to host the NCIIA's exhibition of student inventions," said The Tech's President and CEO Peter Giles. "These young men and women aren't the innovators of the future, they're the innovators of today, and we can learn a lot from their approaches to real issues facing our society."

    Highlights include:
  • ·Two University of Maryland teams will be showcasing their innovations - The Alertus Technologies E-Team has created a wireless emergency warning system and the Cyprus Precision Team is incorporating new technologies to produce a device to measure and analyze athletic performance.
  • ·The team from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is improving training for the use of fire extinguishers by creating a tool that provides feedback to the user as to whether the extinguisher is being used correctly.
  • ·University of Southern California's FAST TCP project is working on a program to improve the speed and lower the cost of transferring large amounts of data over long distances via the internet.
  • ·Stevens Institute of Technology's team has developed an alternative form of sutures to be used for the treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysms.
  • ·The EchoTech Marine Team from Lehigh University has created the Easy-Ionizer, a tool for maintaining calcium and alkalinity levels in aquariums.


About The NCIIA
The NCIIA is an initiative of the Lemelson Foundation, a private philanthropy established by one of the country's most prolific inventors, Jerome Lemelson (1923-1997), and his family, supporting faculty and students who believe that invention and innovation are critical to American higher education. The NCIIA provides grant support to colleges around the country for the creation of student invention teams (called E-Teams for excellence and entrepreneurship), courses, projects, networking opportunities and resources for faculty and student innovators. The NCIIA funds E-Teams whose work is likely to result in the licensing of new products or technologies, or the start up of entrepreneurial ventures. There are currently 175 colleges and universities with membership in the NCIIA. "March Madness" is part of the annual meeting of the NCIIA, held this year on March 18-20, at the San Jose Marriott in San Jose, California. For more information about the NCIIA meeting, call (413) 587-2172, or visit the NCIIA website at www.nciia.org.

About The Tech Museum of Innovation
Located in the heart of downtown San Jose, Silicon Valley, Calif., The Tech Museum of Innovation, a non-profit organization, engages people of all ages and backgrounds in exploring and experiencing the technologies affecting their lives and aims to inspire the young to become innovators in the technologies of the future. For more information, visit www.thetech.org or call (408) 294-TECH.

Note to Editors: Media are invited to the NCIIA Conference attendees' preview of the exhibition on Friday evening, March 19 from 7– 9p.m. The preview will include refreshments and a chance to meet the inventors and discuss their inventions. Media may also attend the public exhibition on Saturday, March 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To RSVP, please call Tony Santos, The Tech Museum of Innovation, (408) 795-6226.