Inventionland Course and Contest Leads to Product License for Middle School Students

Two eighth-grade students in the Grove City (PA) Middle School have garnered a product license for their invention following completion of Inventionland’s K–12 Innovation Curriculum course and winning both their middle school and regional contests. The course, which Inventionland describes as a “cross-discipline STEAM toolbox,” uses the same proprietary nine-step invention process the company follows in its own commercial applications.

The Innovation Curriculum is divided into elementary, middle, and high school sections, with age-appropriate activities for various grades. Students work in teams to develop a new product. Upon completion, teams can enter their inventions in local, regional, and national contests. Inventionland also helps schools to design and reconfigure classrooms and underutilized spaces into “innovation labs” that facilitate immersive learning.

In Inventionland’s nine-step process, steps 1 to 3 focus on discovering a problem and inventing ideas to solve it using STEAM skills. In steps 4 to 6, students sketch and create concept models of their invention. In steps 7 to 9, they make a working model, create packaging, and develop a marketing presentation.

They are then ready to enter their inventions in contests, starting at the local level, with winners moving on to regional and national levels, as the Grove City students did. Inventionland’s founder, George Davison, impressed with the two girls’ invention, contacted a product distribution company, who offered a licensing agreement.

Visit this page for more background on Inventionland’s history and its education curriculum. See a video about how Grove City Middle School implements the Innovation Curriculum.

About the Author

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