Current Invents

Local Students Receive Grant to Revamp the Electric Fence

Agroup of local students from Gary and Jerri-Ann Jacobs High Tech High received a grant of $8,000 from the LemelsonMIT InvenTeams program. The Current Invents team’s goal is to identify and solve a problem faced by zoos, ranch owners, farmers, and other organizations. They were selected as one of the 15 teams of high school students from around the nation to receive the grant money to execute their proposed invention.

The team is composed of 17 students in grades nine through 12. “I have always loved creating things, especially if those things interacted with the environment without a direct command,” said Phillip Steiner, a 92131 resident and member of Current Invents. “MIT InvenTeams gave me a unique opportunity to, while doing what I love with people I enjoy working with, contribute meaningfully to the advancement of technology.”

Current Invents chose to completely overhaul the way we care for and contain animals, with a focus on livestock. Electric fences have remained basically unchanged since 1962; when the fence has a break, owners must walk along the entire fence to find the problem. Current Invents is developing a system that will both detect and locate breaks, notifying the fence owner via text, email, or a phone app. The students are also designing an improved electric fence that will be less likely to fail in the first place. They have until mid-June to complete their project, which they will present at the EurekaFest project showcase at MIT. Phillip shared, “We look forward to showcasing our completed invention at the mid-June EurekaFest, not because we made it but because we are proud that we made it.”
Follow their progress at