Young Inventors' Program®
Components of the Young Inventors' Program®
There are three components to the Young Inventors' Program®: teacher training and assistance, local school programs, and a regional or statewide celebration. While it is not necessary to participate in all elements, a classroom or statewide "Invention Celebration" is a rewarding culmination activity. It can be as simple or as elaborate as your time allows.
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 communication between a new teacher of invention and a more experienced teacher of invention, i.e. mentoring.
If you need training assistance, mentoring or help getting your school involved please call (603) 228-4530, E-mail:
2007 - 2008 Advisory Members
Bonnie Boulanger - Attorney
Carol Foley - Teacher
Kathleen McInytre - Librarian
Jim Milliken - Business representative
Shelly Temple - Attorney
Deb Wiswell - New Hampshire Department of Education
Pamela Hampton - Program Director, AAS
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.
How It Works
The following material is taken from Meant to Invent!® Teacher's Guide, written by a consortium of New Hampshire educators and creators of the Young Inventors' Program®.
Thinking Skills Activities
To encourage creative and productive thinking, start working with some creative thinking processes, including brainstorming, SCAMPER, FFOE, and Creative Problem Solving. Decide how much time you can devote to this area, keeping in mind that these thinking skills can be used in other subject areas as well.
The Invention Process
Now that your students are familiar with ways to think creatively, they are ready to begin inventing. Student inventors may wish to work in teams. Two students per team is ideal. Students, especially young students, may "reinvent the wheel" unknowingly. If this happens that's fine. The process of invention is by far the more important goal. You can encourage older students to conduct product research to determine if their inventions are original. By stressing and encouraging simplicity, your students will see the process as fun, rather than intimidating.
The invention unit can be used in a number of ways and in numerous disciplines. It is up to you how you wish to proceed. Inventing does take time. It is strongly suggested that six weeks (minimum) be allowed for the incubation of ideas, experimentation with form and process, and revision of plans and outcomes.
A possible timeline, taken from the Meant to Invent!® Teacher's Guide, might look something like this:
Weeks One and Two
Encourage and develop inventive thinking skills.
Center class activities and discussion around inventors and the concepts of invention and
Identify problems that may be solved with an invention.
Brainstorm possible solutions.
Start to make plans.
Establish classroom work groups.
Make a working model of invention.
Select a name for invention.
Introduce concepts of marketing.
Introduce concepts of patents and how they work.
While the students progress with their ideas, your major function as teacher is to provide encouragement and continue to show a lively interest. A classroom invention celebration is a rewarding culmination activity. It can be as simple or as elaborate as your time allows.