Sunday, December 21, 2014

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NY1 covers the "Connect A Million Minds" initiative, a five-year philanthropic program by parent company Time Warner Cable to inspire students to pursue learning opportunities and careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

Young Inventors Pitch Ideas At Midtown Emoti-Con

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Some local students trying to become the next Thomas Edisons or Mark Zuckerbergs are meeting up to discuss exactly how to do just that. NY1's Adam Balkin filed the following report.

The next big must-have technology development could very well come from someone who has yet to receive a diploma. Emoti-Con, an annual conference for middle and high school students who are cutting edge inventors, was recently held in Midtown. The event allows them to meet one another, meet professionals in the field and, of course, show off their hard work.

"We want to start to mirror what starts to happen in the professional world which is a lot of
hard work and elbow grease getting a product to a certain stage, and then you have to come out and show it off and get feedback and then go back to the drawing board," says MOUSE Organizer Marc Lesser.

As part of the day, students pitch their ideas to the room and winners are chosen in categories like most innovative and most Entertaining. One thing all the developments have in common is they're all designed to do some sort of social good, from environmental sensors to video games, even one about bullying.

"I used to be bullied as a child, younger, and I want it to be stopped. In this game you learn tips on how to avoid bullying and how there are multiple outlets in your school that can help with your bullying situation," says Reginald Ellis, Quenepas Bullies inventor.

A substantial number of the projects are assistive technologies, or technologies designed to help people with disabilities. One of those is Extend-A-Arm, which aims to help people with cerebral palsy.

"They have limited mobility so they cannot bend down and pick up things. So it helps them do anything they want to do like put food in their dog's bowl, pick up papers that fall on the floors. It gives them independence," says Zainab Oni, Extend-A-Arm inventor.

And for people with cerebral palsy who have trouble expressing their creativity as an artist, there's Art Squared.

"It makes it easier for them to paint because they can move the joystick and just with a simple movement move all the way across the canvas and pick up the paintbrush, move to a different side and start painting again," says Matthew Pressman, Art Squared inventor.

For more information on science, technology, engineering, and math opportunities for students in your neighborhood, check out our parent company, Time Warner Cable's ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP