Lesson PlansBack to lesson plans archive March 5, 2021
“Invention Education” lesson series where students are the inventors
Courtesy Lemelson Foundation video
“If we want a sustainable world, we need inventors.” — John Warner, AAAS-Lemelson Invention Ambassador
Learn how students can solve real-world problems through the power of invention. Check out these lesson plans to explore inventions that are battling invasive species and climate change and building empathy in young people. All lessons work for remote learning.
What is invention education?
Invention education is a student-centered and project-based approach to solving problems. The journey along the way is in many ways just as important as the final product.
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 were part of the invention process.
Here’s a brief look at how MIT-Lemelson InvenTeams use the invention process to help young people design their own inventions:
- 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 and share photos using #PBSInvention and @NewsHourExtra via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and we’ll send you a prize! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. If you have a minute, we’d appreciate it if you filled out this lesson feedback form.
Lesson plan: How Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) inventions continue to save lives during pandemic
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