AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – High school students at Amherst Regional High School have received a grant that will help them develop new solutions to search and rescue operations.

The Amherst Regional High School recently received a Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam grant of $7,500 to create an invention that would increase the efficiency of Search and Rescue operations. Students will work with search and rescue experts, including Amherst Fire Chief Tim Nelson and Ventura County Sheriff Search and Rescue Specialist Markian Stec, to create a solution to the problems in these operations.

According to the InvenTeam, the survival rate of people lost in remote areas drops significantly after just one day. The high school students hope to increase the efficiency of these rescues. The Amherst Regional High School is only one of eight high schools in the country to be selected as an InvenTeam this year.

Over the next eight months, the students will come up with a solution and create a prototype that will be showcased during a technical review in February, then a final prototype will be featured at EurekaFest in June at MIT in Cambridge.

“The InvenTeams are focusing on solving problems that impact their local communities,” says Leigh Estabrooks, Lemelson-MIT’s Invention Education Officer. “Teams are focusing their technological solutions – their inventions – on inequities in health and wellbeing, environmental issues, and safety concerns. These high school students are not just problem-solvers of tomorrow, they are problem solvers today helping to make our world more equitable, healthier, and safer.”

InvenTeam is now in its 20th year and has helped more than 17 groups of high school students earn a U.S. patent for projects they have passionately worked on. More than 3,800 students have been involved in the InvenTeam program.

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