IDEATE 2022 Finalists
View our 2022 IDEATE finalists below and check out the winning inventions on the winners page.
2022 College Team Finalists
Ohio University, Athens, OH
Team: OU Stake Labeler
NPA Partner: SW Resources
The OU Stake Labeler Team at Ohio University partnered with SW Resources to develop a stake labeler machine. The goal was to help employees with disabilities at SW Resources more efficiently and effectively label yard stakes. Working hand in hand with the team at SW Resources, including an SME, the OU Stake Labelers designed a device to make the stake labeling process easier and flow more efficiently for employees.
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo: San Luis Obispo, CA
Team: Cal Poly SLO
NPA Partner: VTC Enterprises
The California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo team partnered with VTC Enterprises. A custodian at VTC served as the team’s SME. Together, they designed and created a new custodial cart that increases on-the-job comfort and efficiency. The result was the eZcart, which boosted productivity for the team’s SME and reduced the amount of kneeling required for specific tasks. The eZcart significantly reduces physical strain on the job and potentially increases the number of shifts an employee is able to undertake.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA
Team: Team Juvo
NPA Partner: Mount Rogers Community Services
Team Juvo from Virginia Tech partnered with Mount Rogers Community Services for the IDEATE competition. The objective was to increase productivity for Mount Rogers’ employees, and in turn, help them achieve their financial and independence goals. The team assessed multiple options before selecting a platform design, which they named the Assembly Base. The Assembly Base was easy for employees to use and increased work speed and efficiency. By providing specialized tools like the Assembly Base, the team hopes to reduce bias and increase the hiring of people with disabilities.
2022 High School Team Finalists
Brentwood High School: Brentwood, NY
Team: Brentwood Research Engineers
NPA Partner: Maryhaven Center of Hope
The Brentwood High School engineering team partnered with Maryhaven Center of Hope to create an assistive device for heat sealing packages. The device is called The Victory Sealer and was created to enable one-handed operation of a typical heat seal press while also increasing productivity for a wide range of people with disabilities. Employees at Maryhaven have shown an increase in productivity and wages along with higher job satisfaction.
Diamond Bar High School: Diamond Bar, CA
Team: DB Engineers
NPA Partner: Vocational Improvement Program, Inc.
The Diamond Bar High School team partnered with the Vocational Improvement Program (VIP) to improve the process for applying labels to candy containers. Very few employees at VIP could label the containers due to the high dexterity needed to align and attach labels. The team’s final design consisted of two automated parts: a label applicator and a label dispenser. Using the Candy Label Applicator, employees at VIP can complete the task faster and with greater accuracy, and more VIP employees can now do this job.
Poolesville High School: Poolesville, MD
Team: Team Better Tomorrow
NPA Partner: Blind Industries & Services of Maryland
Team Better Tomorrow of Poolesville High School collaborated with Blind Industries & Services of Maryland (BISM). They developed and implemented an industrially sustainable solution that leveraged fiber-optic sensing along with an audible indicator to empower individuals who are visually impaired to independently reseal defective plastic bags. This solution created a whole new line of job opportunities for employees, decreased waste, and fostered a more accessible, inclusive work environment for individuals with disabilities in the community.
Marquette Catholic High School: Alton, IL
Team: Tristar Enterprises
NPA Partner: Project CU, Inc.
Tristar Enterprises from Marquette Catholic High School built a device along with Project CU, Inc. that helps employees fold boxes for dog bones. The device is called the Bolder, and it makes the folding process easier, more efficient, and more enjoyable for employees. With it, employees have increased their box-folding rate while also reducing their number of folding errors. As a result, employees at Project CU say they prefer to use the Bolder, and more employees are able to do this job.
Wethersfield High School: Wethersfield, CT
Team: WHS Jets
NPA Partner: CW Resources
The Wethersfield High School team partnered with CW Resources to build a device that helps employees insert plastic spacers into bottle caps. The device, called the S.U.P. (Super Ultimate Pusher), neatly ejects single bottle cap spacers, which are then inserted into the bottle cap with a modified arbor press. With the device, the employees at CW Resources have increased production, achieved a 100 percent accuracy rate, and gained a new level of independence.