While September is when the public focuses on going back to school, every teacher knows that the real work happens before that – preparing classrooms, planning lessons and participating in professional development.
When it comes to Invention Education, thousands of educators have participated in professional development programs this year with the goal of integrating new curriculum into their classrooms to prepare students to thrive in the innovation economy. As a result of the interest from these educators, more than 33,000 additional students will have access to Invention Education during the 2019-2020 school year.
Invention Education represents a new paradigm for teaching – using real-world problem solving and hands-on collaboration to engage students in STEM learning. It often flips the traditional classroom model, letting students drive projects.
As one teacher put it, “You are no longer the sage on the stage, you are the guide by their sides.”
The Lemelson Foundation is part of a growing community of organizations that are enthusiastic about the promise of Invention Education – from PBS Newshour and the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, to The Henry Ford, Invention Convention, the Society for Science & The Public, Beyond Benign, Maker Ed, Oregon MESA and many others.
Partners in these efforts have been leading professional development activities across the country, providing practical advice to teachers on how to implement Invention Education in their own classrooms.
Activities are not only confined to the summer. They’ve been happening throughout the year, both in-person and online, reaching thousands of teachers. Here’s just a sampling of recent sessions:
- The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office conducted its 6th Annual National Summer Teachers Institute (NSTI), which provides educators an opportunity to engage in invention education projects while learning about intellectual property. To date, close to 300 teachers from 48 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and DoDEA South Pacific have participated in the program.
- The Jacobson Institute’s STEM Innovator and Biz Innovator Programs for Teachers conducted online and face-to-face training for hundreds of teachers from Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Texas, Kentucky and Michigan that will make it possible for nearly 54,000 students to experience Invention Education in the coming school year.
- The Lemelson-MIT Program hosted teachers from across the country at MIT and in Los Angeles for professional development workshops, and reached approximately 4,000 students through invention education programs like JV InvenTeams
These trainings have empowered teachers to evolve their practice and motivate their students in new and innovative ways – and they’re seeing the results.
Listen to the voices of teachers themselves as they describe what Invention Education means to them as they seek to impact the lives of their students: