Students From Texas A&M, Myanmar Land Top Prize At VentureWell OPEN Minds Showcase
- Student teams named first and second place winners during Texas A&M’s Invent for the Planet teamed up to create an inexpensive light source to take to market in Myanmar.
- More than half of Myanmar’s citizens don’t have access to electricity, makes it difficult for students to study at night.
- Texas A&M students created an inexpensive and lightweight lighting platform while the University of Technology in Myanmar created a source of electricity modeled after a sewing machine treadle.
- The teams collaborated in College Station and created an apparatus that took the top prize at The OPEN Minds Showcase during the VentureWell OPEN 2018 conference in Austin.
The energy was high Saturday night when a team of students learned they had taken the top prize at The OPEN Minds Showcase during the VentureWell OPEN 2018 conference in Austin, Texas, for their creation of a device that could bring light and electricity to millions of children around the world currently unable to study at night.
For the 10 students, the aftermath of the 48-hour design challenge hosted by Texas A&M University’s Engineering Entrepreneurship Program last month culminated in their winning first place and being awarded $3,000 for the continuation of their product.
“It was very hard,” she said. “We used candles to study. Since this is a problem I faced in my village, I wanted to solve this.”
EDU-Lite is a collaborative team comprised of five Texas A&M students and five students from the University of Technology in Yatanarpon, Cyber City, Myanmar. The teams were named first and second place winners, respectively, during Invent for the Planet, a 48-hour design challenge hosted by Texas A&M University’s Engineering Entrepreneurship Program last month. After Invent for the Planet winners were announced, Rodney Boehm, director of engineering entrepreneurship at Texas A&M, invited the team from Myanmar to College Station so the two teams could collaborate. It was the first time any of the students from Myanmar had ever left their country or flown in an airplane.
The team spent the past week collaborating on their designs. When combined, the two devices create an overall solution to the problem of extending education into the evening in areas without electricity. The Texas A&M students focused on creating an inexpensive and lightweight lighting platform, while the University of Technology in Myanmar students focused on creating a source of electricity modeled after a sewing machine treadle.