Invention can happen anywhere! Take this activity back to your classroom or share with students so they can continue to invent at home!
THE BIG IDEA
Starting with a general prompt to identify a problem or a goal, students can explore the invention process anywhere and create prototypes from household items.
SAMPLE PROMPTS FROM SPARK!LAB
- Make something that can carry a person from place to place
- Make a game for people who play music
- Make something to keep a firefighter safe
- Make something to help you with your chores
Ask students to think about the following questions:
- What do you want your invention to do (what is your goal)?
- How will it be different from existing inventions?
- What materials will work best to achieve your goals?
- After you test it, what works and what doesn’t work?
- What would you change about your invention?
SAMPLE SUPPLIES AND MATERIALS
- Milk straws or standard drinking straws
- Twisty ties
- A mix of recycled materials
- Circle template
- Duct or Masking tape
- Popsicle sticks
- Pipe cleaners
- Bottle caps
- Crayons, markers, colored pencils
By participating in this activity, students will:
- Engage in the invention process through a hands-on activity
- Solve a problem by designing and building a prototype
- Use materials creatively and resourcefully, adapting to supply limitations and restrictions
- Test a prototype and identify tweaks for improvement or better outcome