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  • Christina Williams

Southwestern Oregon's STARS are lacing up their self-tying shoes


Team STARS is aiming high for the InventOR finals.

Anyone who has worked with someone elderly or disabled knows that something as simple as putting on a pair of shoes can be a daunting task. Now, a team of engineering students from Southwestern Oregon Community College is setting out to make it simpler, by taking the fun, futuristic notion of self-tying shoes and putting it into action.

Read on to learn more about how the team has been inspired by Tony Stark and will use a subscription service to make their shoes accessible while keeping revenue sustainable.

1. What is your invention?


Our invention is simply a shoe that you can slip your foot into and it will close for you. This makes it easier for people who have a hard time putting on their shoes.

2. Where did you get the inspiration for your invention idea?


We spent several hours just brainstorming any and every idea we had, even ridiculous ones. One of our members came up with the idea of “Iron Man shoes”, shoes that you step on a platform and it closes around your foot. While the actual iron man shoe was not plausible, we used this crazy idea to come up with this plausible one.


3. As you prepare to pitch your invention to judges, what are you most excited about sharing?


We are excited about sharing our subscription and recycle program. We understand that many of our clientele are on a set income, and spending a large chunk of change on shoes is just not feasible for many of them. With our subscription program we ensure a set income for us each month and make our shoes more accessible.

4. Who are your invention heroes?


Our invention heroes are Nikola Tesla, Elon Musk, and Tony Stark.

5. Tell us about your team. How did you connect with one another and how do you work together?


Our team is compiled of engineering students all going into different fields of engineering, giving us a broad range of strengths. Most of us work together as tutors on campus.

6. What is the most important thing you want the judges to understand about your invention — what will set you apart from the competition?


We are creating an invention that will specifically help people gain more control of their lives. We just want to help people.


See the STARS shoes and 21 other intriguing inventions at the InventOR Finals at PSU's Viking Pavilion on June 28.

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