A report sponsored by the Lemelson-MIT Program and National Science Foundation presents findings and recommendations to policy makers in their efforts to encourage inventiveness in young people, to enhance the climate for invention, and the value of invention in society.

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This study explores the ways in which high school student inventors define the terms failure and learning from failure as well as what they learn about creative failure while inventing that may be applicable to other contexts. A 14-year-old grants program for high school inventors served as the site of study. Findings from this study make visible participants’ emic understandings of creative failure.

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The Lemelson-MIT Program partnered with the Boy Scouts of American in 2010 to encourage Scouts to be inventive and solve real-world problems. The merit badge will provide Boy Scouts with an understanding of the impact and importance of inventive thinking and doing. Learn more about the requirements of earning the Inventing Merit Badge.