In honor of National Friendship Day, this activity demonstrates the importance of teamwork and celebrates the many inventors who have collaborated on patenting their inventions!
- Post-it® Notes*
- Craft items such as beads, pipe cleaners and glitter
- Large sheets of paper
- Select a person in your life who you think would make a great co-inventor! Remember, it is often people with different perspectives than yours who make great teammates.
- Arrange a time to call them or meet up to brainstorm invention ideas.
- Use the thought starter “Wouldn’t it be great if…” to help you generate ideas together.
- If you have adhesive notes available, write or draw your ideas on individual notes and then stick them on a big piece of paper or a wall.
- Watch this video featuring National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) Inductees Art Fry and Spencer Silver, co-inventors of the Post-it®, for inspiration!
- After you have brainstormed at least 10 ideas, select one idea that sounds most exciting to you and your co-inventor. Make a star or place a sticker on that idea.
- Now, work together to build a prototype (a model) of your invention!
What are we discovering?
When people team up, they bring different knowledge, skills and experiences together. A key rule of brainstorming is to build upon others’ ideas. While collaborating in person is fun and useful, it can also be successful from a distance. For example, NIHF Inductees Elizabeth Lee Hazen and Rachel Brown created the first useful antifungal antibiotic while living over 300 miles apart! They developed their invention (which has been used to treat human infection, help diseased trees and restore water-damaged art) through a long-distance scientific collaboration. This is especially impressive because it was before the development of the internet or texting! They relied on the postal service to share their discoveries and observations.
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*Post-it Brand is a registered trademark of 3M