Activate knowledge and practices from all disciplines as students engage in problem-based learning.

Partners in Invention Education (PiE) is a professional learning community for K-14 educators, administrators and collaborators and the Lemelson-MIT Program (LMIT) staff who work with PiE members to:

  • Take a strengths-based approach to education, building on the cultural knowledge and other assets that students bring to their learning experience. 

  • Help students, especially those underserved and underrepresented in STEM, develop deep technical, problem-solving, teamwork, and collaboration skills necessary for success in the invention and innovation economy and which are sought after by employers.

How it works:

Pathway graphic

Use ESSER funds to incorporate STEAM into your current curriculum with expert Lemelson-MIT coaching and support

Implement an invention education program and meet the September 2024 deadline to secure ESSER III funds allocation. Lemelson-MIT will work with you to meet the January 28, 2025 deadline while ensuring quality, equity, and access to invention education.

  • Areas of focus meet ESSER guidelines
  • Includes Professional Development 
  • Invention Education curriculum aligned to standards

Download the flyer here.

For more information, contact Cristina Sáenz at We look forward to meeting you. 

A Community of Educators

K-12 educational partners are supported in their work with learners through LMIT’s summer professional development workshop and these working groups: 

  • IvE Adventures and K12 Maker (grades PK-12) - Introduce students to making and inventing through playful activities, coaching and mentoring, leading to submissions to fairs, conventions or competitions.

  • Junior Varsity (JV) InvenTeams (grades 6-10) - Establish technical knowledge, mindsets, and hands-on skills to prepare students to develop prototypes of inventions.

  • High School Curriculum Resources (grades 9-12) - Easily adaptable resources that enable students to develop prototypes of inventions that solve problems of their own choosing. Includes guidance on implementing an invention and computer science focused capstone course that meets California’s third year lab requirement for the University of California system, giving students the experience and credits needed for competitive college applications.

  • Community Colleges - LMIT works with your higher education faculty and staff to develop their understandings of invention processes and practices, and assists with your (re)design of courses and/or program offerings. Students build on their existing strengths as creative problem solvers while developing new knowledge and technical skills as they work through the invention process. The learning approach is particularly impactful for those underrepresented in STEM college and career pathways. Invention Education (IvE) via i3 teaches students about the possibilities for making a difference in their local and global communities through invention diversity, inclusivity, and equity as pillars to success.

    Our work with community colleges began as a collaboration between the California Community College Chancellor’s Office and the Lemelson-MIT Program. Resources are informed by the Lemelson-MIT Program’s high school InvenTeams® initiative offered nationwide since 2004.  The Invention and Inclusive Innovation (i3) program uses resources developed in collaboration with a global innovation research lab and community college faculty and is based on LMIT’s Invention Education process. Click here to learn more about i3 and see videos about programs at Modesto Junior College and Chaffey College. 



LMIT group at PD
Lemelson-MIT's Summer PD attendees in front of MIT's great dome.
Leading a workshop
workshop attendees
Educators from all grade bands experience the invention process first hand at one of our hands-on workshops. This one took place at Modesto Junior College in Modesto, California. 


Modular and Flexible Programming

LMIT’s teaching system can be customized to fit your students’ education in ways that work best for them and you. Their invention education curriculum is effective during the school day, in after-school programs and summer camps. LMIT’s staff can assist with professional development and curriculum design to make sure you meet the needs of your students, educators, community, and other stakeholders. 

Problem Finding, not just Problem Solving

Problem-solving skills are crucial for students. But LMIT's unique curriculum addresses the oft-overlooked step of teaching them how inventors identify problems and develop new and novel solutions with profound social impact. LMIT has developed a teaching system that begins at this critical stage. Our research has shown that our approach to invention education helps students—especially those underrepresented in STEM— develop confidence in their ability to engage in STEM. 

Dedication to Diversity in STEM

LMIT’s teaching system empowers all students to see themselves as inventors and STEM-capable, regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic background. 

Membership Details

Silver Membership: $10,000/year
  • Professional development workshops and other opportunities for educators.

  • Opportunities for three educators and/or administrators to collaborate across the school year with Lemelson-MIT staff and the working groups via remote conferencing to continue their professional learning.

  • Up to three hours of free collaborative working sessions with Lemelson-MIT staff to provide advice on school or district specific efforts for invention education expansion.

  • Free access to existing teaching resources as well as new resources developed by the Lemelson-MIT Program and made available via a Creative Commons license.

  • Assistance with engaging your surrounding business community and elected officials in supporting your efforts.

  • Lemelson-MIT Partners in Invention Education banner for participating school sites and main office.

Silver Membership Supplementary Options:

  • Discounted pricing of current rates (20% discount) for additional registrations in the summer professional development workshop.
  • Additional collaborative working sessions and in-person visit by LMIT staff ($1,000 per day plus travel).

*Does not include hotel or travel for in-person professional development workshops. 

Gold Membership: $20,000/year
  • Everything included in Silver Membership.

  • Unlimited number of free registrations* for the summer professional development workshop and year-round working groups.

  • District or site-level curriculum review (up to 40 hours) by invention education experts and suggestions for how to integrate invention education into existing instructional offerings to determine ways of enhancing student outcomes.

Gold Membership: Supplementary Option:

  • Additional collaborative working sessions and in-person visit ($1,000 per day plus travel).

Benefits of Joining PiE

LMIT’s Partners in Invention Education community is unique and offers many advantages over other programs:

  • Access to STEM professionals from diverse backgrounds who can serve as role models
  • Ability to deliver education online, in-person, or in a hybrid model
  • Economies of scale from shared use of technologies, licenses and technical support
  • In-house researchers with many years of experience in STEM and Invention Education who can help with design and demonstration of outcomes
  • Proximity to STEM professionals willing to share information and expertise in emerging fields due to commitments to equity and social justice
  • Ties to leaders of STEM, intellectual property, and entrepreneurship ecosystems and networks in states across the nation
  • Visibility with policymakers for joint work that advances diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM, invention, and entrepreneurship

Talk to us today about how PiE can jumpstart your IvE program.

Contact our Invention Education Manager Cristina Sáenz at

View our Catalogue