Lesson PlansBack to lesson plans archive August 9, 2017
Five lesson plans teaching the power of invention
Looking for the next big idea? Teach your students about the invention process and how they can learn how to solve problems through innovation. Use the five lessons below to explore inventions that are battling invasive species, finding untapped renewable energy and more.
Let your students know that someone — likely a team of people — invented nearly all of the things we use on a daily basis: tablets and TVs, cars and stoplights, apps and video games, sneakers and sports equipment, etc. All of these products make up the invention process. Here’s a brief look at the invention process based on the MIT-Lemelson’s InvenTeams program (modified for the lessons below):
- Concept phase: Identify a problem, conduct research and brainstorm solutions.
- Design phase: Create a plan, calculate costs, select the best solution and determine necessary resources.
- Build phase: Sketch, model or build a prototype.
- Review and redesign phase: Review the invention for strengths and weaknesses.
- Share phase: Present the invention to your class then share photos of your invention using #PBSInvention via NewsHour Extra’s Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, and we’ll send you a PBS stress ball and USB drive! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or feedback.
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