Professional and Community Activities

Community Activities

Fitch Even Partner Steve Parmelee Serves as Co-Chair and Judge for the CIPA Science Fair Committee

March 29, 2016

On March 18, 2016, Fitch Even partner Steven G. Parmelee once again served as a special judge at the 66th Annual Chicago Public Schools Student Science Fair at the Museum of Science and Industry. The science fair theme this year was “Uniting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics: Through Education and Innovation.”

Steve joined other patent practitioners and local law school students, including Fitch Even law clerk Collin J. Kurtenbach, to review the exhibits and select the recipients of special awards sponsored by the Chicago Intellectual Property Alliance (CIPA). For the thirteenth consecutive year, CIPA awarded cash prizes for the three “Most Inventive” entries, as well as assistance with the preparation and filing of a patent application to one of the winning students.

Over 300 middle-school and high-school students were previously selected from a field of thousands of local participants in 10 regional science fairs to present their projects and accompanying papers at the citywide science fair. The CIPA judges sought out the most innovative projects among these, interviewing many of the student exhibitors as part of the judging process.

After evaluating many worthy contenders, the CIPA judges awarded the prizes to the following students:

  • First prize went to Van Meyers for his “Autonomous Pet Toy,” an innovative mechanical/electrical/computational device calculated to entertain and exercise the student’s overweight pet rabbit while also capturing and/or streaming video of the rabbit.

  • Second prize was awarded to Nova Xu for her “Wiper Mechanism,” created to clean solar panels located on Mars or anywhere else dust might accumulate on such panels and impair their effectiveness.

  • Third prize went to Veronica Garklavs for her experiments and (possible) discovery that the organic material corn ash appears to be a considerably better flame retardant than a commercial flame retardant material.

For more information on this event, please visit the Chicago Public Schools Student Science Fair website.

Fitch, Even, Tabin & Flannery LLP is a co-founder of CIPA. Steve Parmelee has served as co-chair of CIPA’s Science Fair Committee for several years, and many other Fitch Even attorneys have also been involved with this initiative over the years.


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