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Da Vinci Science Center Inventors Lab Alum Earns Third U.S. Patent

The Da Vinci Science Center is pleased to announce that the U.S. Patent Office has granted Hayden Trexler Schmidt a third patent in less than a year for his circuit breaker tagging invention. Schmidt shares this patent as a co-inventor with his brother, Arthur T. Schmidt, III and father, Arthur Schmidt, Jr. 
Schmidt, a sophomore at Emmaus High School, participated in the Science Center’s Inventors Lab program at the age of 12 and was selected as the winner of the 2017 Inventors Lab Most Patentable Idea Award. For the past three years, Schmidt has worked with patent attorney James R. McDaniel, Esq., who donated his time and services, to file the necessary applications for Schmidt’s original patent.  

Schmidt has earned his three patents within the span of one year, and is currently working on a fourth. For his first invention, he drew on his personal experiences helping his father work around the house and looked for a solution to the problem of identifying electrical circuit breakers and the circuits they control. Schmidt, his brother, and his father created a new system using near-field communication tags that are embedded in plastic holders attached to the back sides of switch and outlet cover plates. These tags store information about each circuit for easy identification with a cell phone. This recent patent expands the application beyond circuit breakers to include outlets for any type of electromagnetic cabling, including computer networking, video feeds, and industrial applications such as sensing and control signals.

“Hayden is exceptionally talented,” said Dr. Frank Schweighardt, former Science Center trustee and founder of the Inventors Lab program. “Being granted even one patent is a process that requires a lot of time and hard work; to earn three is an outstanding accomplishment. Hayden continues to demonstrate his passion for problem-solving and discovery. We could not be prouder of him.”

Of the over 10.6 million U.S. Patents issued since 1790, less than 6% of recipients have been younger than 30 years old, and less than 35% of inventors hold more than one.

Schmidt plays in the Emmaus High School orchestra and cello ensemble and throws javelin for the high school track team. Outside of school, he is a Life Scout working toward his Eagle rank in Troop 131. He and his two older brothers have run a small lawn mowing business in Macungie for the past four years. Schmidt hopes to become a robotics or aerospace engineer.

In recognition of his achievements, the Science Center presented Schmidt with its Young Inventor Award at the 20th Anniversary Hall of Fame Awards Gala in April 2019.

As of Fall 2019, the Inventors Lab Program was split into two Science Clubs, Young Inventors: Idea Lab and Young Inventors: Patent Lab. Idea Lab allows students in grades 5-8 to work with industry and academic experts to develop their invention ideas to meet the patent standard of unique, unknown, and unexpected. Selected students move on to Patent Lab, where they learn basic patent-drafting skills and present their invention at a showcase in April. The winner of the showcase receives pro bono assistance in filing an application for a provisional U.S. Patent.

More information on the Young Inventors program can be found online at davincisciencecenter.org.

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