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” and encourages many students to participate who may not “fit the mold” for traditional sciences.
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.
For people of any age, the process of creating something new and useful is an enthralling and rewarding experience. Unfortunately, only those few who have been able to avail themselves of hands-on experimentation and open-ended discovery, either through their own initiative, their school programs, their family’s interest or their parent’s occupations, have experienced the thrill of invention. Indeed, invention and inventors typically have an outdated and even negative stereotype attached to them. As a result, the process of invention and the important role inventors have played and continue to play in stimulating the world’s economy is often little understood or appreciated. Yet the world’s economy depends on future generations of inventors, innovators, and entrepreneurs whose creative ideas and new products, devices, and processes will provide the foundation for new companies and jobs into the new millennium.
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 over 5,000 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.