The Da Vinci Science Center announced today that its Inventors Lab Program has opened registration for the 2017-2018 school year. This announcement comes after 2012 program showcase winner, Ambrose Cavalier of Saylorsburg, Pa., earned his second U.S. patent at the age of 14 for a modification to his invention of an adjustable dispensing bottle cap – a third patent for the program in total.
One of the most unique programs of its kind in the United States, the intensive eight-month course introduces students in Grades 5-8 to the invention process through hands-on activities and presentations by professional scientists and engineers. Students develop their own inventions between monthly Saturday morning sessions and present them before a panel of experts during the Inventors Lab Showcase in April. One student is selected each year for a chance to apply for a patent with donated legal assistance. To obtain a U.S. patent, an invention must be unique, novel, and unknown to one skilled in the art.
Nearly 200 students have developed ideas since the program began in the fall of 2007, and six showcase winners have submitted provisional patents – Ambrose being one of them. Ambrose developed his idea at the age of nine. The adjustable cap (Pat. No. 9,371,164) allows users to dispense liquids of varying degrees of thickness, such as maple syrup, without the mess of spills. Ambrose applied for a second patent at the suggestion of the U.S. Patent Office, which advised that multiple design aspects of his invention should be split. The second patent (Pat. No. US 9,676,529), was awarded on June 13, 2017.
“We are incredibly proud of Ambrose for earning not one, but now two, full U.S. Patents on his invention through the Inventors Lab Program,” said Kate Heflin, Da Vinci Science Center’s Museum Education and Inventors Lab Program Coordinator. “Obtaining a U.S. Patent is a monumental achievement at any age, but having a student from our program earn multiple patents is extraordinary.”
Ambrose’s applications were made possible in part with support from Inventors Lab Program creator Frank K. Schweighardt, Ph.D., a retired chemist, inventor, and current Da Vinci Science Center Board of Trustees member, and patent services donated by Damon Neagle and Brian Reddy of DESIGN IP in Allentown, Pa. The first Inventors Lab showcase winner, William Schopf of Whitehall, Pa., was 10 years old when he created a wind-powered generator for a vehicle in 2008. Schopf was also 14 years old at the time he was awarded the program’s first full patent in September 2012.
Only 24 spots are available for the 2017-2018 Inventors Lab Program. Registration is open exclusively to members through July 23, 2017. Interested members are asked to complete a pre-registration form at davincisciencecenter.org/inventors/pre-reg-form. If space remains available as of July 24, then registration will be opened to the general public.
About The Da Vinci Science Center: Open for ExSCIting Possibilities
The Da Vinci Science Center is a national award-winning science center that has brought science to life and lives to science since 1992. Da Vinci Science Center experiences make science fun and approachable, helping to connect people of all ages and backgrounds with the wonders of science. An independent nonprofit organization with IRS 501©(3) status, the Da Vinci Science Center engages more than 140,000 participants annually with its exhibits, programs, events, and partnerships.
Additional information and opportunities to support the Da Vinci Science Center are available on the web at davincisciencecenter.org and facebook.com/davincisciencecenter.