Students from Arlington, Area High Schools Show Off Inventions at UTA’s Innovation Day

Articles UTA Innovation Day 02 06 17 02

Martin High School students’ “Electromove” invention won 2nd place Monday, February 6, 2017, during UTA’s Innovation Day competition.

Martin High School sophomore Ozioma Mgbahurike nervously rehearsed his pitch and made a couple last minute tweaks before presenting his team’s wireless cell phone charger idea Monday to a panel of judges at the University of Texas at Arlington’s annual Innovation Day.

Mgbahurike was one of 27 students from Arlington ISD’s STEM Academy who participated in the Shark Tank-style competition, which is designed to provide high school student teams an opportunity to showcase their innovative ideas. This is the second year UTA has invited Dallas-Fort Worth area high school students to participate.

“Phones have changed so much over the years because of technology,” Mgbahurike said. “But why haven’t chargers?”

Mgbahurike was a part of the team that created Electromove, a wireless charger that allows users to move around with their cell phones in hand while still allowing the device to charge. The team has been working on the idea for almost a month, which came to one of the team member’s mind after he tripped over his charger’s cord.

More than 80 students from high schools in Arlington, Dallas, Garland, Crowley and Grand Prairie participated at this year’s Innovation Day, said Teri Schultz, the university’s Director of Office of Technology Management. Three UTA student teams also participated in the competition.

“We are very excited to have so many students involved,” Schultz said. “This is a great way to show them that UTA supports innovative thinking.”

Other creations presented by the students include:

  • Zephyr Drone, an aide for cities with excess smog that converts air pollution into useable products
  • Store Tek, a solution for students that always find themselves losing homework or carrying too many papers in their backpacks
  • Artemis Fabric, comfortable and versatile material that is resistant to pet hair
  • Transiq, a phone app for frequent fliers who want to avoid costly fees from airport parking and rent out their cars while they are traveling
  • Soteria, a safety device that one with food allergies can insert into food or drink to determine whether it is safe to consume or not

Ami Motsenbocker, AISD STEM Academy Coordinator, said that she and her students were excited to participate in the university’s competition.

“It is a great opportunity for them to think outside of the box,” Motsenbocker said. “It challenges them to be innovative and also helps them take the next step in bringing their inventions to the marketplace.”

The STEM program debuted at Martin High School in fall 2015. It gives students the opportunity to earn high school and college credits along four pathways: engineering, biology/biomedical science, computer science and math/science. Those attending this free academy are able to advance their education outside the classroom with internships, mentorships, job shadowing, community service, enrichment programs and summer learning opportunities. Students from AISD apply to be in the program during eighth grade, and only 100 students are added each year.

Patti Greenwood, mother to a STEM student presenting at Innovation Day, said that she is impressed with Arlington paving the way for its students.

“I am glad this program is in place for kids who are interested in these topics,” said Greenwood, whose son Tanner is a Martin High School sophomore. “I know attending events like Innovation Day will help him become more prepared for college and his future career.”