Elevate Your Makerspace With STEM Maker Lab
Make the most of any makerspace
The STEM Maker Lab® program offers a robust and flexible curriculum designed to enhance the makerspace experience and promote entrepreneurial concepts, empowering students to problem-solve realistic challenges through innovation. The program is built to help students take risks and apply creativity, design engineering and prototyping skills. It will also show them the value of intellectual property as they develop and market their inventions.
Offer individualized learning in your makerspace, allowing each student to learn in their own way without being limited to specific methods for reaching a goal.
In STEM Maker Lab, future innovators will discover the power of prototyping as they bring their ideas into reality. Each student will go from idea generator to maker to game-changing entrepreneur!
Watch our program in action
The STEM Maker Lab program provides the curriculum and materials for 15 hours of programming.
In their first activity, participants are inspired by stories from National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) Inductees who learned that observing the natural world around them could help them generate solutions to problems. Teams are introduced to a challenge and discover the power of brainstorming.
STEM Maker Lab uses a create, test and recreate learning approach. In this activity, teams bring their invention ideas to life by building prototypes, experimenting with different materials, testing their designs, evaluating what worked and what did not, and modifying their models based on the information they gathered.
This activity prepares students to think like entrepreneurs by educating them about the value of intellectual property, including utility and design patents, copyrights, registration marks and trademarks. Participants take their ideas to the next level by thinking through product names, brands and logos. This process helps students better understand the importance of intellectual property marks and the need to protect their own ideas.
In this activity, children explore the topic of “making,” as well as the technology and inventors behind many of the inventions in a makerspace. They are challenged to elevate their prototypes by using tech tools such as 3D printers, electret microphones and computer software programs to further refine their product design and utility. When such tech tools are not available, modifications are provided to ensure the success of this activity.
The philosophy behind this activity is rooted in the concept that inventors need to understand the marketplace and the process of bringing an invention to market. Students learn about this process by exploring different marketing challenges: developing a pitch, creating package designs, identifying potential buyers and designing marketing materials on a budget.
Entrepreneurship encompasses invention, innovation, economics, business practices and marketing principles. In their sixth activity, participants will learn that best-selling products have teams who work on the design, function, marketing, logistics and selling of the products. Students will apply all they’ve discovered from the entire session by completing a business plan outline and pitching their product.
Providing safe and healthy learning opportunities
Our invention education programs, led exclusively by certified educators, have always maintained the highest standards in health and safety.
As we all deal with the challenges of COVID-19, we remain committed to safely delivering innovative experiences. Please refer to our Preparedness Plan for additional information.
Please note that the majority of photos on our website were taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The STEM Maker Lab program can easily be integrated into an existing makerspace, integrated into the classroom or run as an afterschool program.
Our education team collaborates with world-changing inventors to provide your students with challenges and tools to bring their ideas to fruition and build the right skills to become innovative entrepreneurs.
We provide information and materials to help build a new makerspace, enhance exisiting spaces and encourage student participation.
The programming is broken into five sessions, with six 30-minute activities per session. Each session follows the same activity sequence and structure — what differs is the invention prototype the team is challenged to build in the second activity.
Bring this program to your district