STEM Education

Patent and Trademark Office Launches Free Invention Platform for K–12 Teachers and Students

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has contracted with Second Avenue Learning to launch EquIP HQ, a free K–12 platform for teachers and students to learn how to invent solutions to real-world problems using STEM and STEAM skills. The grade-level, standards-based program takes learners through design, prototypes, tests, improvements, and the intellectual property rights patent process.

EquIP HQ is divided into four grade-specific content portals: K–2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, and includes teacher and family guides for helping students with lesson plans and activities. Each portal has explore and learn panels; videos, such as types of patents and student inventions; a timeline; match game; promotion and trademark zones; and activities to brainstorm and design an invention. Lesson plans encourage students to think about problems and challenges in a new way and what they can invent to address them. Free tryouts of the program are available on the site.

“EquIP HQ will allow for authentic, real-world opportunities for students,” said Victoria VanHoorhis, CEO of Second Avenue Learning. “Sometimes we call them problems. Sometimes we call them challenges. They’re really opportunities for students and kids of all ages to realize the inventor that exists within every one of us.”

Visit EquIP HQ’s home page to click on a grade level or teacher/family resources to learn more.

Second Avenue Learning’s education services page explains more about what it offers.

For more information about USTPO’s Education Office resources for kids, students, and teachers, see this page.

About the Author

Kate Lucariello is a former newspaper editor, EAST Lab high school teacher and college English teacher.