News Releases
Annual "Invention Index" survey of perceptions about invention and innovation released
January 28, 2010

(Cambridge, Mass) - The Lemelson-MIT program released today the findings of this year's Invention Index, an annual survey that gauges American's perceptions about invention and innovation.

The 2010 Lemelson-MIT Invention Index survey was conducted by Kelton Research December 7-14, 2009, using an internet-based, multiple-choice format. A nationally representative sample of 500 teens, ages 12-17 years old was used. The margin of error at a 95% confidence level was +/- 4.4% for the entire sample

Among the highlights of the report was an increased realization among teens that the strengthening the U.S. economy and competing globally lies in fostering an innovative culture and educating America’s youth in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), with 77 percent of teens responding interested in pursuing a STEM career.

From the press release about the Invention Index:

The positive findings of this year’s survey come on the heels of President Obama’s introduction of Educate to Innovate, a campaign designed to increase interest and improve performance of U.S. students in STEM. The focus of Educate to Innovate is on hands-on activities outside the classroom, which the Lemelson-MIT Invention Index revealed is one of the most effective ways to engage youth ages 12 through 17.

Teens listed activities such as field trips to places where they can learn about STEM (66 percent) and access to places outside the classroom where they can build things and conduct experiments (53 percent) as the best ways to get them interested in these subjects.

For more information about this year's Lemelson-MIT Invention Index, visit:

About The Lemelson-MIT Program

The Lemelson-MIT Program recognizes the outstanding inventors and innovators transforming our world, and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through innovation.

Jerome H. Lemelson, one of U.S. history’s most prolific inventors, and his wife Dorothy founded the Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994. It is funded by The Lemelson Foundation and administered by the School of Engineering. For more information visit: