For the seventh straight year, the Chicago Intellectual Property Alliance (CIPA) sponsored awards for the “Most Inventive” projects at the Chicago Student Science Fair. Attorneys, law students and other volunteers joined together to judge the projects in March at the Museum of Science and Industry.
Volunteers were drawn from the corporations, law schools, and law firms that are founders or members of CIPA. CIPA Science Fair Committee Co-Chair Sarah Kofflin is pictured (left) with this year’s winners.
The level of student inventiveness has been remarkable over the past seven years, and it is always challenging for CIPA to select its winners from many excellent projects. However, the challenge is made easier by the wonderful turnout of volunteer judges.
“CIPA matches the technical expertise and interest of law students and attorneys to the categories of the Science Fair. By fielding a large number of judges with an aptitude for science and technology, CIPA is able to look at all of the projects at the Science Fair and find those that best fit our awards criteria,”
explains Steven G. Parmelee, Science Fair committee co-chair and intellectual property attorney with Fitch, Even Tabin & Flannery.
This year, Philippe Chlenski of Lincoln Park won first place and a $500 award for his project. He is pictured at left with Sarah Kofflin. In addition to cash prizes, the first place winner also receives assistance with a patent application for his or her project if it appears to meet the criteria of patentability.
Daniela Flax of Lincoln Park won second place and a $300 cash award for her project. She is pictured at right with Sarah Kofflin. “Year after year, I am amazed by these bright high school students and their excellent science projects,” said Kofflin. “They do such a great job on them. We like to be able to reward that hard work and also let them know a little about intellectual property law.”
Alexander Tsinman and Caroline Teichner (at left), both of Chicago-Kent, participated this year as volunteer judges. In making its awards for the “Most Inventive” projects, CIPA looks for projects that demonstrate a new, practical application of technology. CIPA also hopes to provide the high school students with some basic information about intellectual property by providing an educational bulletin to all the students participating in the science fair.
The bulletin provides answers to frequently asked questions about patents and intellectual property and also points the reader to a variety of other resources for those seeking more information. This is in keeping with CIPA’s mission to promote Chicago as a vibrant center for the development and management of intellectual property, serving to link and assist organizations, companies, schools and individuals that share an interest in innovation and intellectual property.