The Lemelson-MIT Program, located within the School of Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has been helping K12 teachers and students across the U.S. learn how to invent technological solutions to real world problems for fifteen years. Recent studies confirm the positive impact our programs have on the development of creative and inventive mindsets that are critical to young people’s ability to thrive in today’s technologically driven, rapidly changing world.

We are now sharing what we have learned with greater numbers of educators and administrators across the U.S. and forming a community of support. Please join us at this summer’s professional development session.

Who should attend: Educators of all grade levels, after school professionals, administrators, community college faculty, or other educators who want to enrich students' educational experiences – especially STEM experiences - through inventing solutions to real-world problems. Educators from the same school district are encouraged to attend. This will help support the pathway for inventing in your district.

What will you learn: The workshop will develop educators’ and administrators' capacity to help kids learn to think and act as inventors. The workshop includes strategies for the effective use of JV InvenTeam activity guides made available free of charge on our website here.

Why participate with us: The Lemelson-MIT Program has helped train 160 educators who reached over 4,000 students last year through invention education trainings. Case studies and research publications offer evidence that our approach to invention education helps students develop confidence in their ability to engage in STEM and pursue STEM college and career pathways, even if they have had little exposure in the past to STEM. Our evidence-based model also transforms educators’ approach to teaching and facilitating student learning, and helps schools and districts make connections to STEM professionals in their communities and other community supporters. You can read our case studies and published research to learn more.

Cost: Registration is $750 per participant and includes lunch and workshop materials. Space is limited to 75 educators. We will maintain a waitlist once the registration limit is reached.

Contact: Email if you have any questions. 

Presenters and Guest Speakers

Workshop sessions will be taught and facilitated by the Lemelson-MIT Program staff and former InvenTeam educators and special guest speakers.

Helen Zhang, PhD
Professional Development Coordinator, Lemelson-MIT

Helen Zhang, the Lemelson-MIT Professional Development Coordinator, has over 15 years of experience in designing and implementing STEM activities in formal and informal settings. She develops online webinars addressing key issues related to Invention Education, conducts workshops to engage teachers in integrating invention projects in their classrooms, and provides practical suggestions to invention educators on how to better support young inventors.

Leigh Estabrooks, EdD
Invention Education Officer, Lemelson-MIT

​Leigh Estabrooks joined the Lemelson-MIT Program in 2006 to manage the day-to-day operations of the InvenTeams® national grants initiative. She has been the invention education officer since 2008 overseeing all K-12 invention education initiatives. Estabrooks has been instrumental in the development and introduction of several new initiatives, including Junior Varsity InvenTeams™ and the 2010 launch of the Inventing merit badge in partnership with the Boy Scouts of America. She has co-authored multiple research studies on invention education. She holds a master’s degree in business management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and doctoral degree in educational leadership at Northeastern University.

Tony Perry
Invention Education Coordinator, Lemelson-MIT
As the Invention Education Coordinator at Lemelson-MIT, Tony Perry supports teams of high school students, teachers, and mentors from around the country as they work through the invention process from problem identification to building a working prototype during their InvenTeam grant year. Prior to joining the Lemelson-MIT Program, Tony taught high school science in Chicago and worked in museum education. He received his master’s degree in science education from Northwestern University and bachelor’s degree in astronomy-physicsfrom the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition to his role at Lemelson-MIT, Tony is a PhD student at Texas Tech University concentrating in curriculum and instruction.

Doug Scott
Lemelson-MIT Fellow, Hopkinton High School Teacher

Doug Scott was an educator on the Natick High School InvenTeam in 2013. He is now an Engineering and Information Technology Teacher at Hopkinton High School in Massachusetts. He was a business undergraduate student at Framingham State University, but was always a lifelong inventor at heart. Doug’s 12-year teaching career sprung from his hockey coaching experiences, which have been instrumental in helping him motivate students through the inventing processes. Doug accompanied two student representatives from the Natick High School InvenTeam to the fourth White House Science Fair in May 2014 and their invention was awarded U.S. Patent 20,140,360,420 in January 2017. Doug was awarded the 2014 Massachusetts STEM Teacher of the Year during a state-wide ceremony on October 22, 2014. Raytheon Corporation and the Hall at Patriot Place presented the award.

Guest Speakers:

Carlos Osorio, PhD
Co-Founder and Partner, Yuken

Carlos Osorio is co-founder and partner of Yuken, the first impact research lab in Latin America that partners with people and organizations all over the world to create positive and lasting change for their innovation, learning and design challenges. His work focuses on innovation processes and innovation in complex socio-technical systems. He has experience in the biotech, finance, telecom, energy, natural resources and utility sectors. He holds a PhD in Technology, Management and Policy from MIT.

María Renard
Co-Founder and Partner, Yuken
Maria Renard is co-founder and partner of Yuken Impact Research Lab, with expertise in developing and mobilizing innovation and creativity skills in children and adults, learning in the innovative design process, human-centered design solutions and strategic visual communication for academic settings. She leads the design and learning teams at Yuken. She has been a professor of design for more than fifteen years, and founding director of the School of Design at Univ. Gabriela Mistral. She is a designer from PUC and holds a master’s degree in Innovation from UAI.

Sue Cusack
Assistant Professor, Lesley University Graduate School of Education

Sue is an Assistant Professor at Lesley University's Graduate School of Education. She oversees the Digital Literacy & Computer Science and Instructional Technology Specialist teacher licensure programs, and directs the Lesley STEAM Learning Lab & Makerspace. At this center, Sue and her Lesley STEAM team focus on maker ways of knowing in an education context, designing inclusive learning experiences for Lesley students and their school and community partners.


Attendees will have the opportunity to learn how inventing can be used to engage youth and support the integration of STEM in the following grade bands.

Grade Band Professional Learning Description
PK-3 and 3-5 The early years are foundational to students’ development. Presenters will share playful approaches to developing students’ ability to understand others’ needs, communications skills, computational thinking and computer science skills and ways of designing and building – all through projects that are age appropriate and designed for youth from diverse backgrounds.
6-10 The middle grades are ideal times to continue to develop a range of capabilities needed to invent such as hands on skills and design thinking emphasized in LMIT’s free JV InvenTeams curriculum. Computational thinking and computer science add-ons support this essential area for development. These years are also the time to help students learn how to think about solutions that are both useful and unique.
9-12 High school students are capable of finding problems to solve in their local communities and building useful and unique prototypes of those solutions. Prior learning opportunities can be built upon at this age to support the design and development of technological solutions that are not obvious to one skilled in the art – i.e. patentable! Learn how eight of the Lemelson-MIT Program’s grant-funded InvenTeams have secured patents for their work.

Day 1:   Orientation to Invention Education
             Overview of the work pertaining to attendees’ grade band

Day 2:  Exploration of existing teaching resources and plan new invention activities for the year ahead

Day 3: Attendees share existing resources for each grade band and work plans for the 2020-2021 school     year.  Small group meetings with staff and speakers to address individual or site needs. 

Hotel Accomodations

A discounted price of $205 a night has been reserved at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites on Monsignor O'Brien Highway in Cambridge until June 28, 2020.  Book online here to take advantage of the room block or you can contact Andrew Connors directly at 617-577-7600 or