Throughout human history, the act of inventing has improved lives around the world. As our challenges grow ever more complex, big ideas and creative solutions become more important than ever before.
Increasingly, invention education — an open-ended approach to learning that challenges students to solve real-world problems by developing their own invention prototypes — is seen as an effective way to help students develop the skills to navigate challenges that lack straightforward answers.
Below are three easy-to-implement strategies you can try today to find out how this type of learning could benefit your students.
Start Small With STEM Activities
Developed by our team of education experts, the National Inventors Hall of Fame® offers over 150 free, classroom-friendly STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) activities using easily accessible materials. These hands-on experiences not only offer a small preview of what invention education looks like, but each also includes a thematic connection to a National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductee.
Introduce Inductee Role Models
Research has shown that the earlier children are exposed to invention, the more likely they will invent and innovate into adulthood. Exploring the lives of our world-changing Inductees and sharing their stories with your students is an effective approach to both inspire them and help them make valuable real-world connections. As we work together to improve the levels of diversity across STEM fields, helping students identify relatable role models in these fields remains a crucial part of the solution.
As both our Hall of Fame Inductees and Collegiate Inventors Competition® Finalists can attest, you don’t need expensive materials to prototype incredible ideas. Consider gathering common materials from around your classroom and challenge students to use them to construct inventions that solve real-world problems. This type of hands-on learning is an easy way to boost engagement and help children flex their problem-solving muscles.
Authentic Invention Education
For over 30 years, the National Inventors Hall of Fame has developed hands-on invention education programs that have inspired millions of students across all 50 states. Throughout this time, we have had the privilege of collaborating with some of the world’s most influential inventors, our National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees, to develop these transformative learning experiences.
Through our powerful partnerships with inventors, we have identified a growth mindset that unlocks creative potential — the I Can Invent® Mindset.
These nine key competencies are at the core of all our programs, enabling our unique style of authentic invention education and bringing out the best in every student. To learn more, we invite you to visit our website!