Calling all kid-inventors! The official opening of the SparkLab! Invent It Challenge on January 17 celebrates Kid Inventors’ Day, which acknowledges the important role children can have in innovation worldwide.
ePals, a product of Cricket Media, in partnership with the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, announces the call for entries for the Spark!Lab Invent It Challenge. The Challenge, now in its fourth year, offers children across the world the opportunity to showcase their creative thinking on a global stage, with the opportunity to win an official patent filing, Camp Invention scholarship, LEGO kit, books from Smithsonian Consumer and Education Products, and profile in Cricket Media’s Odyssey Magazine. Individual students, entire classrooms, schools and other organizations serving children between the ages of 5-18 are encouraged to participate.
“Connecting kids to learning in fun ways is core to our mission at Cricket Media,” said Joan Auchter, Chief Learning Officer, Cricket Media. “We are honored to join with the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center and Spark!Lab to empower and recognize kids globally and their innovative ideas that inspire us all to make a difference in the world.”
For Megan Lim, a 2014 Spark!Lab Invent It Challenge winner, inspiration came from a four-footed friend—her dog, Jack. Megan, who turned 12 this year, invented a way to help fight Lyme Disease. Her “Tick Key,” a flat, metal wedge with a tear-shaped hole, cleanly and simply removes ticks.
Teen Chase Lewis, a two-year Spark!Lab Invent It Challenge winner, had an equally bright idea. He created an invention that launches smoke masks up through windows and into a burning building to help trapped victims. Chase advises other aspiring inventors to “start noticing what things in your world could be made easier.”
Megan and Chase are featured in this month’s issue of Cricket Media’s Odyssey Magazine. Other past winners and their inventions are featured on the Cricket Media’s ePals website.
“The Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center believes that everyone is inventive—particularly kids,” said Tricia Edwards, Head of Education at the Lemelson Center. “The Invent It Challenge is a great opportunity for students to recognize their creative and problem-solving abilities.”
The Spark!Lab Invent It challenge requires students to follow seven key steps in the invention process, including identifying a problem, conducting research, sketching, building a prototype, testing, refining and marketing the product. The process helps to cultivate and reinforce 21st-century skills, including the use of digital technologies, and also meets several Common Core, STEM and other learning standards. A panel comprised of Smithsonian and Cricket Media judges will select winners. The deadline for submitting inventions to the Spark!Lab Invent It Challenge is March 27, 2015. For complete entry guidelines, visit http://challenges.epals.com.
About Cricket Media
Cricket Media is an education media company that provides award-winning content on a safe and secure learning network for children, families and teachers across the world. Cricket Media’s popular media brands for toddlers to teens include Babybug, Ladybug, Cricket® and Cobblestone® and digital apps in English and Chinese. The Company’s innovative web-based K12 tools, for school and home, include the ePals virtual classroom for global collaboration as well as In2Books®, a Common Core eMentoring program that builds reading, writing and critical thinking skills. Cricket Media serves approximately one million classrooms and millions of teachers, students and parents in over 200 countries and territories through its platform and NeuPals, its joint venture with China’s leading IT services company Neusoft. Cricket Media also licenses its content and platform to top publishing and educational companies worldwide. For more information, please visit www.cricketmedia.com.
Spark!Lab is a hands-on invention activity space operated by the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. The Lemelson Center's mission is to document, interpret and disseminate information about invention and innovation, to encourage creativity in young people, and to foster an appreciation for the central role of invention and innovation in the history of the United States. Spark!Lab will reopen at the Museum July 1, 2015.