special sessions

We are pleased to announce the 2024 special sessions!  

Get a sneak preview of the work going on in the InventEd network.

Wednesday, March 27: 10:45-12:00 PM

Start Me Up: Invent the Future through Entrepreneurial Problem Solving 

Room: Edison F

Dawn Bowlus - Jacobson Institute, University of Iowa

Diane Fickel - West High School, Iowa City

Let’s go for an entrepreneurial spin - explore the connection between invention and entrepreneurship. Have hands-on fun while getting firsthand experience innovating and problem solving like a boss! In this fast-paced workshop, you will work in teams on problems, develop inventive and entrepreneurial solutions, pitch, and get feedback from potential customers.

Commercialization is often a next step for inventors who create a widget that the market wants, needs and has to have! Explore how invention and entrepreneurship education work together to provide enhanced educational opportunities for youth. Discuss ways to leverage the synergy as a mechanism to advance the InventEd movement.   

From Passion to Progress: Creating a Common Language and Tools to Assess Invention Education 

Room: Banneker

Adam Maltese - Indiana University

Bri  Livingood - Carden of Tucson Charter School

Kelli Paul - Indiana University

Lauren Penney - Indiana University

Peter Wardrip - University of Wisconsin

Arlyne Simon, PhD -  Abby Invents

Darryl Thomas - Western Oregon University / Rainbow Dance Theatre 

Emma Grahn - SparkLab- Smithsonian

Susan Rowe, PhD - Oregon State University

Shannon Giorgianni, PhD - Society for Science

Mel Kuhn - RMC Research Corporation

During this session, our two teams will utilize a hybrid approach to provide a background on our ongoing research on identifying invention education practices and skills. We are pursuing this work toward the development of assessment tools that identify invention educational practices and increase inclusivity through transdisciplinary awareness. Attendees will participate in the process (e.g., defining capacities, trying out the assessments) and will provide reactions to the findings and tools presented. Together, we will brainstorm future steps as we continue to turn our passion for assessment of invention education into action. 

Engaging Students Through Invention Education/STEM Learning Strategies Across All Content Areas

Room: Bell

Dr. Britt Magneson - National Inventors Hall of Fame

Shawn Boger - National Inventors Hall of Fame

This workshop will provide hands on learning activities and strategies grounded in Invention Education and STEM learning concepts to reconnect students with joyful learning across all contents. This interactive workshop will renew enthusiasm for teaching and give teachers immediate strategies to use to engage and empower students. 

Infusing Climate Action Into Invention Education 

Room: Edison E

Elizabeth Stock - Oregon MESA

Jonas Hudnall - Oregon MESA

As the impacts of climate change intensify each year, young people are motivated to make a difference. In fact, they are often more attentive to the issue than their parents and other adults in their lives. The invention education ecosystem has a unique opportunity to connect with students about a topic that already means a lot to them. Building upon this existing passion,  it’s time to equip them with the tools, knowledge, and support to turn it into action. In this interactive information-sharing session, Oregon MESA leaders Jonas Hudnall and Elizabeth Stock will share learnings, progress, and stumbles around infusing climate action into invention education. 

Oregon MESA - https://oregonmesa.org/


Jonas Hudnall - https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonas-hudnall-a3bb22242/

Elizabeth Stock - https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabeth-stock/ 

Building Awareness for Invention Education: The InventEd Toolkit and Your Best Practices 

Room: Wright

Christine Lawlor-King - Invention Education Consultant & InventEd 

Aaron Wartner - Buzz Engine 

Need more tools to build awareness for your program? Hear findings from recent research focused on increasing awareness for invention education and provide feedback on the working plan for awareness building and content development for a budding toolkit.  In this participatory session, we will discuss promotional best practices and how to work with schools and educators. We will also share insights into the challenges educators face in implementing invention education and collaborate on how we can overcome those hurdles. Learn the strategies to promote your program, engage your audiences, and work with schools and programs.  

Be The Change:  The Need for Equity in Invention and STEM Education 

Room: Edison G

Florence (Flo) Falatko - Retired STEAM/Math  Educator, Master Teacher of Invention and Intellectual Property 

Katherine Mable Owens - Educator and Consultant, STEMisEd


Invention Education strengthens student engagement and 21st Century skills needed in today's careers, especially STEM. There is a national push to bring more diversity to the field of STEM. Invention Education has the ability to cross barriers, engage students, and support STEM competencies. Participants will explore various student activities, use diverse representation, and practice engagement techniques that support diversity in Invention and STEM Education. Through purposeful instruction together, we can help close the equity gap facing STEM careers in this Nation.

Thursday, March 28: 10:15-11:30 AM

Artistry in Action: Hands-On Exploration of Art to Cultivate Impact Inventors

Room: Edison F

Susan Rowe, PhD - Oregon State University  

Darryl Thomas, MFA - Western Oregon University & Rainbow Dance Theatre 

This hands-on session underscores that everyone, regardless of their background, can be an inventor by developing an inventiveness mindset. Artistry identifies and fosters observable qualities and transferable skills cultivated through the invention process, hence turning passion into impactful, actionable steps forward for learners. Art is a universal language symbolic in every culture. By integrating the artistic process in invention curriculum, we strive to increase inclusivity of participation and of thinking for all learners. "Artistry in Action" brings a tactile exploration for participants, who will leave with a tangible artistic creation AND a blueprint for integrating arts into invention curriculum.

Classrooms to Catalysts: Empowering Teacher Leaders in Invention Education 

Room: Banneker

Leigh Estabrooks - Lemelson-MIT

Kathy Hoppe - STEMisED

Victoria Pasquantonio - PBS Newshour/Classroom 

Cristina Saenz - Lemelson-MIT

Doug Scott - Hopkinton High School

Joyce Ward - USPTO Office of Education

Join us for an insightful interactive session where we will explore the transformative impact of teacher-leader programs in Invention Education. Invention education is a dynamic field that thrives on the collaborative efforts of a diverse group of stakeholders and the innovative spirit of educators. This interactive session aims to showcase and explore different teacher-leader programs that are pivotal in advancing invention education across various sectors. Through a dynamic panel discussion, interactive activities, and firsthand testimonials, participants will gain insights into the successes and challenges of implementing these programs. They will share their experiences and ideations for future programs. 

Educators as Advocates and Policymakers 

Room: Edison G

Andrew Coy - Digital Harbor Foundation

Sunday Lantos Swett - Digital Harbor Foundation

Educators know the needs of students and schools better than anyone, but it can often feel like you’re on an island of your own in your classroom. With this in mind, let’s reflect on how we are already acting as advocates, dig into some deep questions, dream about what could be, see what ideas emerge, and walk through a number of policy tools, tips, and tricks!

A few of the questions are:

- What are our responsibilities as educators when it comes to sharing our experiences with those in positions of power? 

- How can we build power collectively?

- How does invention fit into the larger policy landscape? At a local, state, and national level? 

Research on Increasing Inventor Diversity Through Trust: The Role of Networks in IP Education 

Room: Bell

Jessica Milli - Research2Impact 

Erin Kelley - Hexalign 

Yolanda Payne - USPTO MTIP, Georgia Tech Professor

Gloria Bañuelos - Qualcomm 

Breann Branch - NOLS

Why should we start intellectual property (IP) education early? And why is it especially important for students from historically marginalized groups? During this Research, Practice and Policy session, panelists will present new research about the role of education, networks, and trusted mentors in closing the IP diversity gap. Panelists will also outline available IP education resources, such as The Inventor’s Patent Academy (TIPA), and how trusted mentors have used resources such as TIPA in their current teaching. Additionally, panelists will discuss policy proposals related to collecting data on IP participation and how attendees can contribute. Attendees will learn about the opportunities trusted mentors have to support innovation in their networks and have time to reflect and share their plans for action.

InventEd Clubs for Elementary Students

Room: Edison E

Debra Jacoby - Pine Crest School/Master Teacher of Invention & Intellectual Property

How do you organize a long-term meet-up group with design journals, planning, intellectual property lessons, and builds for elementary students?  This session goes beyond one-off projects and challenges and discusses guidelines to give some of our youngest inventors who are working through the design thinking process.  Participants will be led through a timeline of events and test hands-on lessons through both online lessons and age group-appropriate builds. If you are interested in try some age and stage 1st-5th grade activities this session is for you. 

Figure It Out: How to Teach Students to Be the Ultimate STEM Problem Solvers 

Room: Wright

Kevin Bushweller - Education Week

Alyson Klein - Education Week

Join us for a presentation and conversation about how schools in the United States are integrating the teaching of problem-solving and entrepreneurial thinking into STEM instruction in some very creative and relevant ways. Many of them are also simultaneously figuring out how to encourage more girls and students of color to pursue studies in STEM areas, showing the kids how their participation could lead to lucrative careers down the road.

This session—which will feature exclusive survey data and original reporting from Education Week—will highlight what those approaches look like in action (or should look like) for elementary and secondary students; how curriculum and instructional priorities are changing to make this happen; and why such changes are so important at this moment in time.

Thursday, March 28: 1:00-2:15 PM

Adapting IvE pedagogy to Expand the STEM Pie: Case Studies in Early Stages of IvE Teaching 

Room: Wright

Muhammad Ahmed - Eastern Michigan University

Shiri Vivek - Eastern Michigan University

Perusek (1987) identified five key components in IvE programs: problem identification, background research, data collection, imagination, and recognizing limitations. The success of IvE programs is associated with these elements, as well as student enrollment (Yoon and Kim, 2019). This study focuses on the Dare2Design invention learning program in under-served communities. Cases related to problem identification, background research, and enrollment will be presented with relevant data. Participants will collaborate to find solutions and discuss outcomes. Later, tested solutions will be shared for participant feedback and recommendations. 

Fundraising for Invention Education 

Room: Edison G

Nick Briere - Connecticut Invention Convention

In this session, we will demystify the fundraising process by walking through each of the steps necessary to raise capital for your deserving programs. We will -- in real time -- apply for grant funding for a volunteer organization from the audience, demonstrating how easy it can be to raise funding for your program. We will walk through corporate, foundation, government, and individual fundraising, and will field your specific questions about the fundraising process and how to maximize your success. 

How Project Management can Empower Invention Education to New Heights  

Room: Edison E

Ashley Forsyth - Project Management Institute Educational Foundation

If you've ever invented anything, you had to "manage" the process. What many people do not realize is that there is an entire field dedicated to ensuring project success and we hope to share turn key tools and techniques that will help young inventors take their projects to the next level. 

Pop-Ups, P-Values & Partners

Room: Edison F

Dr. Roxanne Moore - Georgia Institute of Technology

Alaina Rutledge - National Inventors Hall of Fame

Jasmine Patel, Patel - Georgia Institute of Technology

Jayme Cellitioci - National Inventors Hall of Fame

Ashley Giordano - National Inventors Hall of Fame

Juan Valentin - USPTO 

Reginald (Reggie) Duncan - USPTO 

In this interactive session, explore how the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) leverages insights from Our Nation’s Greatest Innovators to design programs that build STEM interest, confidence, and inventiveness. Engage in a sample of the hands-on programming that served as the platform for NIHF and Georgia Tech’s recent research collaboration by designing your own Pop-Up Venture™ shop and hear the latest evidence from this project. Then, bring it all together with experts from the United States Patent and Trademark Office as you discover tools to design a trademark-worthy logo for your shop. Join us to see what invention education connections pop up for you! 

Visualizing the Invention Learning Gap across America using Real Time Data: Innovation Atlas

Room: Bell

Jarell Brown -The Henry Ford

Carolyn Ward -The Henry Ford

If you’re interested in identifying areas of inequity related to invention, then join The Henry Ford as they demo the Innovation Atlas, a new interactive custom mapping tool that leveraged the work of Raj Chetty’s Opportunity Insights and Lost Einsteins research.  Bring your laptop and link in to learn how you can apply this GIS (Geospatial Information Systems) resource and the data to your program strategy and decision making, prioritizing resource allocation and impact reporting.  You’ll learn how data visualization can be a vital tool for justifying the need for invention education and building a compelling case for support. 

Applying Invention Education to the Climate Crisis and Other Curricula in Schools 

Room: Banneker

Pascha Griffiths - The Henry Ford, Harvard Graduate School of Education 

Last summer I created a summer school course that combined Invention Education, Climate Change Education, and general chemistry. This session will draw from that experience to share how using invention-based design challenges spurred students into approaching climate change with a hopeful, solutions-oriented mindset. 

In this experiential session, we will explore approaches to infuse pre-existing curriculum with invention education based activities or create new ones altogether. We will undertake a climate-based design challenge of our own and spend some time collaboratively generating new ideas for integrating invention education into the teaching of climate change and other disciplines.