LANSING — State Representative Tom Cochran (D-Mason) applauded the efforts of InvenTeam Williamston today at a presentation featuring the team members, who were recently awarded a substantial grant from the Lemelson-MIT Program — one of only 14 schools in the nation to receive the grant.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the accomplishments of these amazing individuals that make up an extraordinary team,” Cochran said. “This grant not only puts Williamston on the map as a true educator of bright, young minds, but is a win for Michigan to show the country that we have innovators working hard to find solutions to real problems right here in our great state.”

The invention created by the Williamston InvenTeam is an unlocking device that helps school children with neurodevelopmental disabilities open their lockers. Project HANDL (Helping the Autistic and Neurodevelopmentally Disabled with Lockers) is also scheduled to present its prototype at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology conference called EurekaFest in June. The students will work on developing the prototype throughout the school year.

The team also discussed the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education at the presentation.

“No one knows better than these students the importance of a strong STEM education program in our schools,” Cochran said. “Whether they came to InvenTeam with a passion for technology, or learned it through their classes, they have turned on a switch of imagination and engineering marvel inside their minds, and it’s important that our schools can be here for them now and for groups like them in the future.”

Stockbridge High School’s InvenTeam also received the grant, under the guidance of teacher Robert Richards.