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August 9, 2017

Lesson plan: 5 engaging lessons celebrating invention and innovation

Are you looking for lesson plans focusing on scientific innovation and invention? Click on the images below to explore lessons on inventions that are battling invasive species, finding untapped renewable energy and more.

If you use one of the lessons below, we’d love to know about it! Post class pictures on Twitter using the #PBSInvention tag and the NewsHour Extra team will send you a PBS stress ball and USB drive.

Creating new inventions is exciting for students. Let your class know that someone — or likely a team of people — invented nearly all of the things we interact with on a daily basis: tablets and TVs, cars and stoplights, apps and video games, sneakers and sports equipment, zippers and buttons, etc. All of these produces were part of 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: research and brainstorm solutions that will help solve a problem
  • Design phase: calculate the costs involved and how sustainable the invention will be; select the best solution and determine necessary resources and materials
  • Build phase: sketch, model or build a prototype, depending on your schedule and available materials
  • Share photos of your class via social media using #PBSInvention and send any feedback you have that others may find helpful! Twitter and Instagram: @NewsHourExtra

Lesson plan: How new inventions are revolutionizing how we help people with injuries and disabilities

Lesson plan: Zapping robot invention battles invasive species

Lesson Plan: How inventions that use renewable energy help protect the environment

Lesson plan: How new inventions help us use social media for social good

Lesson plan: How new apps lead to innovation in agriculture

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