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Lesson Plans

Lesson plan: Why this athlete invented a sports concussion sensor

June 25, 2019

Full Lesson


Directions: Read the summary, watch the videos and answer the discussion questions below. You may want to turn on the “CC” (closed-captions) function.

Summary: Jessie Garcia suffered a head injury during a sports contest and wanted to know if there was a way to check if she had a concussion. The only product available was too expensive, so she rolled up her sleeves and got to work creating a purely mechanical head impact sensor. Students at The LINC school in Philadelphia visited Jessie’s factory to tell her story. To learn more about concussions and sports, check out NewsHour’s Student Reporting Labs’ series here.

Discussion questions:

1) Essential question: How might hearing personal stories of real-world problems affect one’s outlook on invention and innovation?

2) What steps did Jessie Garcia take to get her idea for the concussion censor off the ground?

3) How does empathy play a role in creating inventions that help others after experiencing hardship, such as a physical injury?

4) Why do physical injuries often impact one’s mental health as well?

5) Media literacy: This story was produced by STEM Student Reporting Labs, NewsHour’s youth journalism program. What other questions do you have for Jessie Garcia that you would like to know about?

Extension activities:

1. Learn how to solve problems through the power of invention and innovation. Use these NewsHour Classroom lessons to explore inventions that are battling invasive species, finding untapped renewable energy and more.

“Invention Education” lesson series where students are the inventors

2. In this PBS Learning Media interactive lesson, Invent Apps That Help Others and Build Empathy, students will discover how new apps are improving the lives of people with a disability or illness and helping to raise empathy. Through stories featured on the PBS NewsHour’s broadcast and student-produced videos via PBS NewsHour’s Student Reporting Labs, students will learn about individuals who have overcome challenges and went on to help others. Then, students will use their knowledge of the invention process to design their own app which addresses a problem facing their school or community.