Breakout Sessions

Reinvigorate: Breakout Sessions, Wednesday, November 16
In-Person only

Get a sneak preview of the work going on in the InventEd network! Scroll down to see breakout session titles and videos for each of the three breakout sessions.

We will also have a special networking session following the breakouts to bring in-person and online participants together over a fun and fast-paced Twitter chat! Click titles to see presenter, room, and session description.

10:45am Reinvigorate: Breakout Session I

Westin Hotel 10:45-11:00am ET, Wednesday November 16, 2022

Invention Education Narratives in Action: the FIRST and Qualcomm Case Study

Sarah Stray (FIRST) & Chloe Callahan (Qualcomm)
Wright Room
Qualcomm is a long-time sponsor of FIRST, a global robotics community with multiple Pre-K-12 programs. They have been a presenting sponsor of multiple FIRST initiatives within their innovation education arena, including their flagship Global Innovation Award program and culminating event. Learn how they partnered to redesign the traditional Invention Education story from one focusing on what youth invented to one that focuses on relevancy and long-term impact for the youth and tech sectors. Together, they engaged multiple audiences to highlight the importance of educating the next generation of innovators to mutual benefit. Moving from the what to more deeply focus on the how and why allowed them to spotlight the student learning journey and express how critically important that learning is for industry. They will share examples of how this impactful narrative resonated both through the use of a Qualcomm led ‘innovation stage’ activity at the Global Innovation Award Ceremony and in all social media and marketing campaigns. After the presentation of this Case Study, participants will have a chance to share their own successes telling their own Invention Education stories externally and brainstorm how they might apply the newly learned narrative best practices within their own organizations.

Examining the Narratives of Latina Students who Participated in Invention Education

Cristina Saenz (Lemelson-MIT), Evelyn Gomez (Lemelson-MIT) & Audra Skukauskaite (University of Central Florida)
Edison B
Less than 2% of patent holders in the United States identify as Latina. This is problematic considering the increasing Latinx population and the empirical evidence which indicates the benefits of drawing on diverse perspectives in the invention ecosystem. Little is known about Latina students who have participated in Invention Education. In this breakout session, we share the findings from Cristina’s dissertation, a narrative study which analyzed how the life experiences of three Latina students who participated on a high school InvenTeam contributed to their identity development as inventors. We also share the experiences of Evelyn Gomèz (copresenter), patent holder, MIT alumni, and former InvenTeam leader.

We will also discuss the different types of cultural capital young inventors draw on throughout the development of their identities. We make the case for utilizing Invention Education as an approach to engage Latinas and other underrepresented students in invention and STEM and we conclude our presentation by arguing that IvE should be embedded within the school day.

Fail Faster: A Conversation About Successes and Challenges of Implementing an InventEd Pathway in a Minnesota School District.

Brian Martin, Ruth Larson, and Kaitlin Lee
ISD 196, Minnesota

Edison A
Three teachers from Apple Valley, Minnesota discuss the implementation of a K-12 STEM Innovator Program in their pathway of STEM schools. They will share what is working, the challenges they face, and takeaways from their experience. The session will conclude with an audience-driven discussion of InventEd implementation.

Liberatory Design - as a model for Invention

Tong Zhang (Oregon, MESA Portland State University)
Bell Room
Invention Education is a powerful tool for fostering innovative, creative thinking and deep STEM learning in students. It can also be used as a tool to further "savior complex" where students are taught to solve problems for others. To use invention as a tool for liberation we must abandon our assumption that we know what is best for our communities. In this session, we aim to share lessons and best practices on fostering liberatory design and not proliferating white supremacy culture, taken from what we've learned from over a decade of implementing Invention Education. There will also be time for open discussion so we hope that others participating will also share their best practices in navigating this learning process.

Growing Invention Education and Relationships Along the Pathway

Chelle Myrann (Phoenix Union High School District), Doug Scott (Hopkinton High School), Julie Panus (Plymouth Elementary School), Kristi Harris (High School)
Banneker Room
Come share in the journey of those who - after an immersive Invention Experience - returned to their teaching lives inspired and fundamentally transformed to infuse Invention Education into their classrooms and schools. Hear about the challenges and accomplishments after an initial involvement in Invention Ed and the ongoing transformation of individuals, forging of relationships and growing of programs. Participate in Invention Activities used in our classrooms and share your experiences of growing invention education.

1:00pm Reinvigorate: Breakout Session II

Westin Hotel 1:00-1:45pm ET, Wednesday November 16, 2022

Promoting Inventiveness: A Student-Centered Approach to Inclusive Innovation

Roxanne Moore (Georgia Tech) & Leslie Flynn (University of Iowa)
Edison A
We propose a definition of inventiveness to describe both attributes and student work products. We contrast inventiveness with analytical skills where methods and outcomes are typically known. To explore opportunities for inventiveness in curricula, subject matter experts evaluated 23 activities common in engineering design and entrepreneurship curricula and rated their expected student work outcomes with respect to inventiveness and analytical skills. We also evaluated nine problem statements from engineering design coursework with respect to their potential for resulting in inventive and analytical student work products. We contend that the inclusion of curricular elements that rate higher with respect to inventiveness are more likely to promote student engagement, particularly from underrepresented groups. This analysis may be applied when considering whether a curriculum is sufficiently promoting and rewarding inventiveness or inventive practices. We assert that as students advance from secondary to post-secondary schools and into multiple career pathways, their capacity and interest in engaging in innovation, invention, and entrepreneurial ecosystems will increase, thereby increasing equity in the designed world by empowering all student voices.

USPTO Master Teacher Invention Education Program (MTIP)

Kathy Hoppe (STEMisED), Joyce Ward (USPTO Office of Education), Brittany Fisher (USPTO Office of Education & Jorge Valdes (USPTO Office of Education)
Banneker Room
The mission of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Master Teachers Invention Education Program (MTIP) is to cultivate a network of teacher leaders that will empower educators and foster innovation and intellectual property (IP) education for their students.

The USPTO Office of Education and STEMisED is pleased to present information about the 2022 inaugural Master Teacher Invention Education Program. Highly qualified and passionate invention and intellectual property (IP) educators were selected to participate in a turnkey training program. These MTIP teacher leaders will work with USPTO subject matter experts and STEMisED to provide professional development to educators across the nation. The Master Teacher Invention Education Program is a selective professional experience, encouraging a two-year commitment and willingness to champion the nation's invention and intellectual property movement. MTIP teacher leaders will share USPTO resources and their practical classroom experience.

Reinvigorating Your Classroom With Invention!

Jax Chaundhry (Project Invent)
Edison B
Every day we all face problems, large scale social issues to smaller daily routine problems. By framing these problems using design theory we can reinvigorate our classrooms and have real impact in our communities. The design theory process helps students understand the problem and empathize with the people who are affected, to come up with great ideas and build it into reality in our classrooms. We've learned how design thinking and student invention have led to increased joy, teacher engagement and innovation particularly following virtual learning. Learning design theory and applying it firsthand in this session can help educators and innovators alike reinvigorate classrooms!

Leveraging STEAM to Support and Broaden Participation in Invention Education

Jay Well (Oregon State University) & Darryl Thomas (Western Oregon University)
Wright Room
Leveraging current Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) reform efforts can help to support Invention Education. One reform effort, is the STEAM movement. STEAM seeks to infuse Art Education into traditional STEM curriculum. STEAM has been shown to broaden access and participation in STEM fields, and to promote student engagement. This session will detail the integration and outcomes of dance, drones, computer programing, AND self-expression into an existing Invention Education program for middle school students. iINVENT at Oregon State University (OSU) partnered with the iDance Mobile Code Lab at Western Oregon University, and OSU extension, to have students innovate, design, and program light up dance costumes and use drones to enhance their performance and audience engagement. In the session we will share our story of collaboration, an overview of the program, tools used for evaluation, and youth outcomes. This will include how facilitators used STEAM and self-expression to engage youth in an introductory invention experience. Participants will leave the session with actionable tools to use STEAM in their invention programing and understand how it resonates with the broader goals of Invention Education.

Pathway Building: High School to 2-Year Colleges

Stephanie Couch (Lemelson-MIT), Melinda Kalainoff (Kalainoff Consulting and Research LLC), & Audra Skukauskaite (University of Central Florida)
Edison C
Access to opportunities for learning ways inventors find and solve problems that matter is critical for the next generation of inventors and entrepreneurs. Many invention education offerings take place afterschool or in summer camps. The need to work, care for family members, or lack of transportation may prevent many low-income students and Black, Latinx or other people of color from participation in such offerings. The inclusion of invention education offerings during the regular school day has been identified as a potential strategy for ensuring that all students are supported in their development as inventors in their K12 years. This session will share recent efforts to make invention education opportunities available within the school day at the high school level, and efforts to generate companion offerings at community colleges. Articulated offerings between high schools and community colleges create possibilities for students to be dual enrolled, thereby earning college credit for their work in high school. Students’ connection to two-year colleges also increases the likelihood that students will continue their education upon graduation from high school. The availability of offerings across high schools and two-year colleges will allow students to stay connected with educators and mentors who are critical to their success.

Building Inventive Identity Beyond the Classroom

Emma Grahn (Lemelson Center, NMAH Smithsonian), Gabrielle Meyer (The Morris Museum), Nyssa Buning (Lemelson Center, NMAH Smithsonian), Tim Pula (Smithsonian SparkLab) , Monica Smith (Lemelson Center, NMAH Smithsonian)
Bell Room
When we foster interactive, learner-centered environments, we support students as they develop the inventive habits of mind and skill-sets necessary to navigate our changing world. But learning looks different in classrooms, facilitated informal spaces like Spark!Lab, and unfacilitated museum or science center exhibitions. In this session, examine how people learn in these settings, discover commonalities that can be leveraged to foster inventive identity formation across educational settings and backgrounds, and equip students with the skill sets needed to merge iterations of information from different learning experiences to build lasting understanding.

2:00pm Reinvigorate: Breakout Session III

Westin Hotel 2:00-2:45pm ET, Wednesday November 16, 2022

Creative Brains: Necessary for Tomorrow's Innovations

Amanda Potter (Destination Imagination, Inc)
Wright Room
Houston we have a problem! America watched in awe as NASA professionals worked diligently using limited resources to place a square cartridge into a hole intended for a round one and safely return their Apollo 13 peers to earth. Creativity aides in all sorts of problem situations. So, it’s time for educators to discover how to transform education to grow the next generation's creative power and start figuring out the best solutions for placing square pegs in round holes. Leveraging the creative process can be the most applicable and powerful tool for quick and simple solutions as well as the complex long-term. Experience rapid ideation and implementation as you maneuver the creative process first hand from recognizing the problem to celebrating the solution. Pair the creative process with the unique Destination Imagination elements of learning for an unstoppable approach to teaching others effectively while training learners' brains to do what brains are designed to do---create and innovate!

Invention Education as a Context for Children’s Identity Exploration

Alaina Rutledge (National Inventors Hall of Fame) & Dr. Joanna Gardner (The Center for Educational Partnerships, Old Dominion University)

Edison A
Explore newly released peer-reviewed research shows how Invention Education supports the cultivation of an inventive mindset as children explore their self-perception as inventors and innovators. Additional research on Black youth identity in Invention Education found that while all learners had positive associations with creating and making and less positive associations with pitching and presenting, Black youth were far more likely to attribute their discomfort to social anxiety. However, after one week of an Invention Education program, BIPOC youth were shown to have a stronger correlation between engineering and an inventive mindset. BIPOC learners were also more likely than their white counterparts to strongly self-identify as “inventive” after the experience. We have found that there is a need to (1) make our findings visible and transferrable, (2) demonstrate the findings and how they shape invention programs, and (3) connect the dots between our organization-based research and the broader research from the field. Explore with us relevant and accessible ways that we can reimagine how to build inclusive Invention Education practice.

Bridging the Gap: Invention Education That Connects Classrooms And Informal Education Spaces

Becky Zeisel (KID Museum) & Jonathan Rivera (KID Museum)
Join KID Museum in an exploration of two invention-focused school programs for elementary and middle school students. KID Inventors, for students in grades two through four, centers creative problem solving and the engineering design process in the classroom, with students engaging in technical skill building and project development through field trips at KID. Invent the Future, a middle school program for students in grades six through eight, integrates skill building and project development into the class curriculum, with the majority of project development happening at school, and support offered in field trips to KID. Both programs have had to be reimagined as we navigate the transition back to in-person school. As these programs continue to evolve, we have learned that teachers’ voices and needs have to be centered in program refinement. This session will explore the structure of these programs and how they bring creative problem solving and Invention Education to the classroom, as well as how we engage teachers in the design and ongoing iteration of both programs.

Starting and Sustaining STEM and Invention Education in Elementary School to Foster Invention Mindset and STEM Identity in Children

Ryan Neden (KID Spark Education)
Edison B
Intro to Kid Spark. We know from 10 years of research that 3 elements are critical to STEM learning. 1) All children need foundational STEM knowledge as a prerequisite to STEM learning & invention; 2) STEM & invention education experiences must start early & progress each year; and 3) Mentors are key in helping children go beyond their learning edge & develop skills and confidence in problem solving. Kid Spark fosters an invention mindset & STEM identity in PreK-5th grade students by teaching foundational STEM fluencies--Spatial Reasoning, Sequence & Correspondence, & Creative Problem Solving. Convergent-to-divergent learning enables students to become inventors & innovators--analyzing problems & exploring different solutions. By 3rd grade, 1 in 3 children say they aren’t interested in science. By 8th grade, it’s 1 in 2. This is largely due to lack of early exposure to STEM, & is amplified for systemically underrepresented children. Learning STEM is almost as important as learning how to read. Children need to develop invention mindset to thrive in a technology-driven world. So how do we get there? We have to give children STEM & invention education experiences from a very early age. Mentors are critical to helping children transcend the Zone of Proximal Development. Ryan Neden will discuss a current design-research study on professional development for teachers, & a STEM and invention education pilot program to serve students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

Focus on Belonging: Building an Educator Community Online via DEI-InventEd Professional Learning Course

Dawn Bowlus (Jacobson Institute) & Ethan Eagle (Innovatrium)
Banneker Room
Eleven educators across five states actively participated in an 8-week online professional learning program to promote Diversity Equity and Inclusion in Engineering, Invention, and Entrepreneurship. Participants engaged in action-based learning – identifying their own DEI-Invention/Engineering/Entrepreneurship project, developing a plan over the 8 weeks and implementing a pilot during the spring. This session will recap the major themes and activities taken from interviews with participants in the University of Iowa and The Henry Ford partnership action grant. Our discussion will highlight three recommendations for practice that emerged from analysis of the participants’ reflections on their experiences taken from interviews recorded in June 2022 about their project ‘implementation’ action. The necessity of convening with a purpose of creating safe spaces. The power of sharing among teachers, administration and support staff independent of ‘district representation’. A ‘right size’ inclusion curriculum doesn’t mean ‘one size fits all.’ At our session, we’re seeking individuals who are interested in joining, or who have led, communities of practice to engage participants to become deeper practitioners of DEI within the engineering, invention, and entrepreneurship spaces.

2:45pm Reconnect: Networking Session for Online and in-Person

Westin Hotel 2:45-3:30 Wednesday November 16, 2022 (snacks included)


Doug Scott (Hopkinton High School) & Vicky Pasquantonio
Edison D
This interactive session will feature a live Twitter Chat with everyone attending being able to participate in real time! The #InventEdChats session would feature an IE topic and demonstrate the ability to stay connected and learn year round as an IE community. This past year the #InventEdChats was piloted and was successful. This breakout session is focused on growing the number of participants and teaching those new to Twitter Chats how easy and fun it is from the comfort of their own homes. This interactive session will feature a live #InventEdChats Twitter Chat with everyone in attendance and those attending virtually being able to participate in real time! #InventEdChats = #Fun = #ConnectedCommunity