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Students from 5 nations compete in College Station with inventions to change the world

Posted at 6:49 PM, Apr 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-07 19:50:29-04

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — University students from all across the globe have congregated in College Station this week to present their inventions, which they believe could change the world.

Each year the Texas A&M College of Engineering invites teams of student inventors to compete with one another for 'Invent for the Planet,' in which they create a product or service that would provide humanitarian or environmental benefits to the international community.

Thursday, seven finalist teams from various U.S. states and world countries presented their prototypes before a panel of judges in College Station.

“We’ve had start-ups continue, we’ve had a number of different ideas continue forward, and that’s what we’re hoping these teams will do," said Rodney Boehm, director of engineering entrepreneurship for Texas A&M.

This year students from Texas, New Mexico, Thailand, Greece, Qatar, and Brazil presented inventions that would promote personal safety, third world agriculture, and disability assistance.

Each team is comprised of students from varying academic disciplines. Often engineering and computer science is involved, but liberal arts, business, and education majors play critical roles on these teams.

“What I love about my engineers is they’re very good with the technology part, and how to construct something," said Texas A&M - Corpus Christi team member Aurelia O’Neill, a doctoral student in education.

O'Neill's team ended up placing third, with an invention that assists blind children, in place of a service animal.

“I was able to show the engineers [on the team] the human design," she said. "I was able to help them center and narrow the focus on the empathy of the user.”

The winners in this competition were all American, with a Texas A&M flagship team winning first place. The winners not only will receive thousands of dollars in prize money but will also be directly connected to TAMU's college of engineering, given access to the entrepreneurship resources there.