Student Innovators: Where are they now?

Posted on
Categories Edison Awards News

Known worldwide for his famous inventions, Thomas Edison is less well-known for his most far-reaching contribution to business: his systemization of the R&D process. His Menlo Park research lab created a process where ideas could become realities with commercial potential. The CAPS (Center for Advanced Professional Studies) create a modern-day Menlo Park environment at the high school level by integrating businesses directly into the educational curriculum.

In 2017, Edison Universe awarded three CAPS student innovators scholarships to assist with their education and growth on their innovation path. One of those award-winning innovations was a device named NOVA. The NOVA device was developed by student innovators Connor French and Kali Watkins to help prevent skin cancer and develop healthy sun-exposure habits among the masses.

Recently, Edison Universe was able to catch up with these student innovators to see how winning the Edison Universe student innovation scholarship has helped advance their careers.


Connor French:

I am currently a senior at Park City High School and am looking forward to graduating later this June. I have just started my final High School season of Lacrosse, and we are hoping to win another state title. I am currently applying to college and am very excited to start a new chapter of my life. In college, I am planning on majoring in Kinesiology, and then hopefully attending Dentistry School. I heard from Coach Feasler that the UV sensor project is in phase 2 with new students in PCCAPS, and while we are no longer directly involved, it will be cool to see the progress on the project! This was a great project to work on and opened up my mind to so many different aspects of a business.

Kali Watkins:

My team was one of three national winners of the Edison Award for Student Innovation in the late spring of 2017, during my junior year. Now, as a senior, I spend my time applying to colleges, doing website and marketing work for local companies, and continuing through my last year of high school. Since May, I have been working at Park City’s center for innovation. The company is heavily involved in Park City’s Center for Advanced Professional Studies (PCCAPS)  at the high school. Through my work, I get to watch this next generation of PCCAPS students learn about business, engineering, programming, and graphic design through experiential learning. In fact, one engineering project this semester is a continuation of the Personal UV Sensor project my team created and was awarded the Edison Award for. It is amazing to see the progress that the students have made with the initial idea and the growth potential that the product has to change lives.

Learn more about Edison Universe and how your organization can help young innovators grow by visiting:

Learn about the CAPS program in your area by visiting:

The following two tabs change content below.

Mellissa Hopkins

Share this article: