Incoming juniors granted U.S. patent for their invention
It's a victory nearly three years in the making! To tackle the challenge of the eighth grade engineering project, four student athletes from the Class of 2012 – Erica Epstein, Lucy Taft, Rachel Leizman, and Katherine Smythe – sought to create a toy that would appeal to sports fans. They decided to capitalize on the popularity of professional basketball in Cleveland and named themselves The CavEngineers. After learning about gear ratios, mechanical advantage, electricity, and wiring, they designed and built The Perfect Shot, a mobile basketball hoop that improves your skills by moving farther away with each basket you make. This summer, the team received word that they were granted a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Inspired by the Society of Automotive Engineers’ A World In Motion curriculum, the group employed the engineering design cycle to perfect their vehicle. They salvaged pieces of scrap wood, plexiglass, and various found objects (including a retainer case) and employed their considerable talents in the HB Invention Lab to build their prototype. At the Hathaway Brown Science and Engineering Fair in February 2008, the project was evaluated by engineers from around the Greater Cleveland area. Several of the judges were so impressed that they asked if the CavEngineers had considered pursuing a patent for The Perfect Shot. The team seized on this exciting idea, and with the guidance of Sherry Epstein, their hard work paid off.