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Nashua School District 141 Ledge Street Nashua, NH 03060-3071 603-966-1000 http://www.

Press Release
For More Information: Mary Q. Stewart NHS North Biotechnology Teacher Nashua High School North Students Receive Invention Grant to Create Bacteria-Powered Battery Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam Initiative Inspires a New Generation of Inventors Nashua, NH, October 17, 2012 — Nashua High School North was recently awarded a Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam grant in the amount of $7,729 to create a bacteria-powered battery. Nashua High School North is one of 16 high schools nationwide to be selected as an InvenTeam this year. InvenTeams are teams of high school students, teachers and mentors that receive grants 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. “The InvenTeams program represents the future,” says Leigh Estabrooks, invention education officer from the Lemelson-MIT Program. “We place an emphasis on STEM-focused projects to develop interest in these fields among youth. With InvenTeams, our primary goal is to foster high school students’ passion for invention, in turn inspiring them to consider careers in science, technology, engineering or math.” Monica Miller, a math teacher at North with a background in mechanical engineering, and Mary Stewart, a biotechnology teacher at North with a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences, initiated the InvenTeam application process last spring and attended training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in June to help prepare the final proposal. A prestigious panel of judges composed of educators, researchers, staff and alumni from MIT, as well as representatives from the industry and former Lemelson-MIT Award winners, assembled this fall and selected Nashua High School North as one of this year’s InvenTeam grantees.

This team of five students, listed below, will work throughout the year to design and invent a bacteria-powered battery to produce electricity. According to the proposal, the battery uses the natural metabolic processes of commonly found bacteria in soil or compost to generate a current. The team is taking this invention a step further and will contact citizens of rural villages in less-developed countries and tailor the design of the battery to match the needs of those citizens. The goal is to develop a battery with a capacity that generates enough electricity to power not only computers and medical devices but also home lighting so that children who are required to work in the fields during the day will have enough light to read and study their schoolwork during the evening. Currently bacteria-powered batteries do not have that capacity. The Team will present its invention at EurekaFest from June 19-23, 2013 at MIT, which may also include seminars, lab tours, presentations, showcase of inventions, and possibly a design challenge at the Museum of Science in Boston. Madeline Doctor ’13, administrative tasks Meghan Dezurick ’13, cell compartment Craig Hammond ’13, methane production Theresa Inzerillo ’13, computer-aided design/metal work Christopher Jones ’13, cell compartment Priyanka Satpute ’13, student leader, circuitry Mrs. Monica Miller and Dr. Mary Q. Stewart, grant advisors The Nashua High School North InvenTeam will also work with the following mentors who will guide the students through the development of their invention.

Dr. David Murotake, Founder SCA Technica, Inc. Mr. Girish Satpute, Fidelity Investments Society of Women Engineers board members have committed to helping to find mentors through their organization and their affiliate member organizations.

“When I attended MIT’s EurekaFest in June, I was able to see the accomplishments of last year’s teams and hear the students talk about their great experiences,” says Monica Miller. “I am so excited that this wonderful group of students are going to be able to experience taking an abstract idea and creating a prototype. This project will take a tremendous amount of time and dedication but will provide these students with an education way beyond the theoretical.” “While Meghan was working on an independent study in the biotech lab, she was inspired by one of the BioBuilder labs ( and experimented with a variety of bacteria to see which ones produced the highest electrical output,”

says Mary Q. Stewart. “While brainstorming for possible ideas to submit, the students became excited about Meghan’s research. It is really fulfilling as an educator to see how the spark of one student’s idea grew into a creative and collaborative group concept. The student can now take the next step to build and test their invention idea.” Over the next nine months, the Nashua High School North InvenTeam will develop its bacteria-powered battery. In June, the students will showcase a prototype of their invention at EurekaFest at MIT in Cambridge, Mass. EurekaFest, presented by the Lemelson-MIT Program, 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.

ABOUT THE LEMELSON-MIT PROGRAM Celebrating innovation, inspiring youth The Lemelson-MIT Program celebrates outstanding innovators and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention. Jerome H. Lemelson, one of U.S. history’s most prolific inventors, and his wife Dorothy founded the Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994. It is funded by The Lemelson Foundation and administered by the School of Engineering. The Foundation sparks, sustains and celebrates innovation and the inventive spirit. It supports projects in the U.S. and developing countries that nurture innovators and unleash invention to advance economic, social and environmentally sustainable development. To date The Lemelson Foundation has donated or committed more than U.S. $150 million in support of its mission.