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Coppell High School was recently awarded a Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam grant in the amount of $10,000 to create an interactive training device for students with special needs. The device will help teachers create a personalized learning environment with a minimum of distractions. Coppell High School is one of 15 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.

Mike Yakbovsky, STEM Coordinator and engineering teacher at Coppell High School initiated the InvenTeam application process last spring and attended training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in February to help prepare their final proposal. In April, he assembled a team of junior and senior STEM students to begin working on the proposed invention.

The 2014-2015 Coppell High School InvenTeam is called Disruptive Innovation and consists of:  seniors - Braddock Bresnahan, Erin Payne, Mark Sowders, Phillip Sowders, Olivia West;  juniors – Mariana Bulgarelli, Zane Erickson, Ruth Fernandes, Elbio Guedilla, Gabby Sahm, Nino Teruya, and Ran Trakhtengerts.

The Coppell High School InvenTeam will work with National Instruments, who will guide the students through the development of their invention. National Instruments (NI) is a leading technology company that works with engineers in virtually every industry. Their vision of addressing the need for more STEM graduates is the reason that NI supports and promotes initiatives such as this project at Coppell High School.

Over the next eight months, the Coppell High School InvenTeam will develop its interactive training device for the CHS Special Education department. In June, the students will showcase a prototype of their invention at EurekaFest at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 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.

For more information about the CHS InvenTeam, contact: Mike Yakubovsky, Coppell High School STEM Coordinator, at 214-496-6237 or You can also follow the Disruptive Innovation Team on Twitter @DsrptvInov8n.

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