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The Academy of Applied Science—
The Young Inventors' Program is one of the core programs administered by the Academy of Applied Science. Created by New Hampshire teachers as a means to introduce the creativity-inspiring challenge of inventing into the classroom, the program has enjoyed a long and successful run.

Fidelity Investments—
The program's annual statewide Invention Celebration currently enjoys the generous sponsorship of Fidelity Investments.

Nicole MacMillan (Director)—


Carol Foley
Independent Education Consultant

Kathleen McInytre, Librarian
Clark/Wilkins Schools, Amherst

Beth Sommers
Curriculum Integration & Extended Learning Coordinator,
Greenland Central School

Ad hoc Advisory: Steven Caney, Author & Inventor

About the Young Inventors’ Program®

The Young Inventors' Program® reaches out to over 600 schools and 5,000 students each year.

Created in New Hampshire, the program is now being taught in Nevada, New York and Massachusetts. Ongoing support is provided to teachers via a teacher manual, teacher-to-teacher training, teacher workshops and outside sources, with the goal of incorporating the invention process — creativity and problem solving — into the classroom, as well as through participation in after-school programs. The program is aimed at engaging all K-8 students to "think outside of the box".


The invention process provides an opportunity for all students to participate and be successful. All children can identify problems in their homes, schools or neighborhoods, as almost every day of their lives they will face at least one problem. Some examples of real-life problems, identified and solved by students, are: an unmade bed, a dog that eats the cat food, and a grandmother with a broken leg that must be elevated when she sits.

A unit on inventive thinking, which includes the production of an original invention, is limited only by the imagination of the teachers and students. You might ask, “with everything else I have to teach, why take the time for inventing?”

Research has shown that inventing will:

Enhance self-image. Stimulate and foster creativity. Relate the scientific method to real life. Spark the inventive spirit in our culture. Develop the essential skills of logical thinking, creative problem solving, intellectual risk-taking, and communication.

Students will also:

Solve actual problems. Develop higher-level thinking skills. Use creative and critical thinking skills. Use library and other research skills. Experience success and increased self-esteem. Learn to document the inventive-thinking process. Produce an original invention and receive recognition for participating in the invention process. Develop public speaking skills.


Recognizing the need to stimulate inventive thinking in young people and to encourage practical ingenuity through hands-on experimentation and discovery, the Young Inventors’ Program® was created by New Hampshire teachers.  Since 1986, the Academy of Applied Science has given teachers and elementary and secondary students throughout the state of New Hampshire an approach to invention and innovation that is based on the proven notion that the process of invention encourages and develops problem-solving skills and creativity. The goal of the Young Inventors’ Program® is to foster cognitive growth so that students can think creatively and apply problem-solving in the real world, a skill that develops a wide range of conceptual and logical thinking capabilities.  

Since its conception, the Young Inventors’ Program® has brought together thousands of young inventors to demonstrate their inventions, meet other students with whom they share the joy and the challenge of invention, and interact with adult inventors, patent attorneys, teachers and business leaders.


There are three components to the Young Inventors' Program®:

1—teacher training and assistance

2—local school programs

3—regional or statewide celebration

TEACHER TRAINING provides hands-on experience to assist teachers in implementing creative thinking and problem solving activities in their classrooms. This is accompanied by the Meant to Invent!® Teacher's Guide. This guide combines the concept of inventing with the process of creative thinking, critical thinking and creative problem solving. It helps teachers provide experiences and activities designed to bring the student in touch with the learning process.

The teacher training component of the Young Inventors' Program® is important as it provides teachers with classroom-tested techniques to motivate and inspire students to think creatively.

Teacher training can also be done through mentoring—communication between a new teacher of invention and a more experienced teacher of invention.

LOCAL ANNUAL SCHOOL PROGRAMS provide New Hampshire students with the opportunity to participate in the Young Inventors' Program®. Each student identifies a problem to be solved and goes about solving it. These programs help students develop the essential skills of logical thinking, creative problem solving, intellectual risk taking and communication.

The statewide INVENTION CELEBRATION gives students the opportunity to share their creativity with their peers from around the state and receive recognition for their efforts.

If you need training assistance, mentoring or help getting your school involved please call (603) 228-4530, E-mail: