January 5, 2011

Inventioneers maintaining high profile

Members of the Inventioneers, Londonderry’s awardwinning FIRST Lego League team,
were visited by the production crew of New Hampshire
 Chronicle in November. The segment aired last evening. COURTESY PHOTO
Union Leader Correspondent
LONDONDERRY -- A team of home-schooled Londonderry students that’s gained international recognition over the last six years was featured on last night’s edition of WMUR TV’s “New Hampshire Chronicle.”
This past November, television crews visited the Evarts household, with WMUR news
 anchor Tiffany Eddy directing the interview, which aired Tuesday evening. The segment will soon be posted on the team’s Web site, www.theinventioneers. com.
The Inventioneers, a world champion FIRST Lego League team ranging in age from 10 to 16, consists of Londonderry students Paige Balcom, 16, Kate Balcom, 13, Emily Balcom, 14, Tristan Evarts, 15, Jaiden Evarts,
 13, and Bryeton Evarts, 10.
Parent Lisa Evarts coaches the team, while parents Brian Evarts, Sue Balcom and Web Balcom also assist the team.
This past fall, the team was presented with the Spirit of New Hampshire award, given by Volunteer NH and Gov. John Lynch. The award, which honors Granite State volunteers, recognized the Inventioneers’ efforts in promoting the FIRST LEGO League and mentoring younger and more inexperienced
 teams. In April 2010, the Inventioneers were presented with the Championship Award after competing in the FIRST LEGO League World Championships in Atlanta, Georgia. 

The team had competed at the international level after creating a steering wheel cover known as SMARTwheel, an acronym for Safe Motor Alert for Restricting Texting, which senses the driver’s hand movements and issues an audible alert when the driver is sending text messages. 
A pilot test of this invention had been conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology the previous winter. 
Because education has a broader impact, the team also developed an education program, noted team member Tristan Evarts. Their DUIT program, which stands for Driving Under the Influence of Texting, was presented to state transportation chairman Robert Williams. 
The team is currently seeking a permanent patent on their latest invention, after attaining four provisional patents for current and previous projects. 
According to Evarts, a utility patent for the SMARTwheel was filed Dec. 7, and the team will travel to next week Washington, D.C., to meet with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to discuss both the SMARTwheel and the Don’t DUIT program. 
While there, the team also hopes to meet with President Obama’s Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra to discuss the Inventioneers’ new patent scholarship program they hope to ultimately bring nationwide. 

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