Rowan Students Among Top College Inventors Showcased at Boston?s Museum of Science During ?March Madness for the Mind?

Rowan Students Among Top College Inventors Showcased at Boston?s Museum of Science During ?March Madness for the Mind?

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Three College of Engineering students from Rowan University will join other students from across the country who are making an impact at the seventh annual ?March Madness for the Mind? presented by Th
Three College of Engineering students from Rowan University will join other students from across the country who are making an impact at the seventh annual ?March Madness for the Mind? presented by The Museum of Science and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) on Saturday, March 22 at the Museum of Science, Cambridge, Mass.

Jeff Gladnick, 21, of Newark, DE; Matt Eberhardt, 21, of Red Bank, NJ; and Pete Boyle, 22, of Newton, NJ, are creators of SnoRhino, a rest for snowboards that will allow snowboarding enthusiasts to peacefully co-exist with skiers on chairlifts. The team started working on the project last year as part of an engineering clinic at the college, and this year they are manufacturing the device, for which they have a patent pending.

They will display their inventions along with students from such schools as Princeton University who have designed such items as a wirelesss bracelet and pager system for parents locating their children, software for communicating through a laptop or PDA, even a wheelchair that can ride over rough terrain. The one-day exhibit spotlights the most innovative inventions of 15 teams of student scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs from around the nation.

?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.?

This year, the students represent colleges and universities in Texas, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Idaho, Tennessee, Colorado, Maine, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Florida, and Massachusetts.

Highlights include:

-- University of Texas at Austin: a technology that allows people with severe disabilities to completely control computers with slight movements of a finger, toe, head, or any other body movement that can register on a standard computer camera

-- University of Pittsburgh: a wireless bracelet and pager system that prevents children from getting too far away from their parents

-- Rowan University: a new attachment for traditional ski-lift chairs that allows for a snowboarder to fit his or her snowboard comfortably alongside a skier or another snowboarder, eliminating unsafe riding and dismounting conditions

-- Princeton University: a new software package that allows a speaker to communicate with an audience through a laptop or PDA

-- Hampshire College: a front-drive manual wheelchair that uses treads in place of drive wheels to achieve flexibility over rough terrain

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 March 20-22, at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge.