Mission

The Lemelson-MIT Program promotes invention and the early stages of entrepreneurship across the United States through its prize program for collegiate inventors and its invention education initiatives. Our mission is to inspire young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention, and to support their development as inventors and creative problem solvers through invention education opportunities. Invention education is an emerging and transdisciplinary approach to education with meaningful outcomes for students of all backgrounds, educators and communities. We are leading research efforts in this new field of study with a goal of forging collaborations and invention education pathways from kindergarten through college to ensure all youth have opportunities to learn to think and work as inventors. 

One of U.S. history’s most prolific inventors, Jerome Lemelson and his wife Dorothy, founded the Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994. The family continues to support this vision through The Lemelson Foundation and grant funding administered by 
MIT's School of Engineering. 


 

Leadership and Staff

Master Teachers

The Lemelson-MIT Program works with a select group of experienced InvenTeam educators who provide peer-to-peer support for InvenTeam educators during their grant year.

Get Involved

There are numerous ways you can get involved with the Lemelson-MIT Program to encourage and support the development of creative and inventive mindsets in all students. Our transformative approach to teaching and learning cultivates a culture of invention in schools and communities, changes the way educators teach, and gives young people the real-world skills needed to flourish in college and career. Our partners make it possible for us to accomplish our mission.

Supporters

Lemelson-MIT collaborates with a variety of organizations and businesses working to expand learning opportunities in the areas of engineering, science, computer science and computational thinking, making, inventing, entrepreneurship and the arts. We colloborate with K-12 educators, administrators, and colleges and universities around the country to accomplish our mission.

FAQ

Who established the Lemelson-MIT Program?

Jerome H. Lemelson  (1923-1997), and his wife, Dorothy, established the Lemelson-MIT Program to recognize and reward outstanding inventors in the hope of encouraging more young people to pursue careers in science, engineering, technology, and entrepreneurship. Our work continues to be supported by the family through The Lemelson Foundation. 

Who funds the Lemelson-MIT Program?

The Lemelson Foundation  funds the program, and the program is administered by the  School of Engineering at MIT. We also benefit from donations by supporters and funding from organizations who contribute for services rendered.

What is the Lemelson-MIT Program's mission?

The Lemelson-MIT Program recognizes outstanding collegiate inventors and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention. 

Can you help me sell or license my patent?

The Lemelson-MIT Program is dedicated to promoting the process of invention. We do not purchase patents or licenses, nor do we invest in inventions.  For more information about intellectual property, visit the free course offered by the Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property. 

Can you help fund or develop/manufacture my invention?

We do not fund the development of inventions. We also cannot provide inventors with contacts such as MIT engineers or area mentors.  The following MIT-affiliated groups may be able to guide you:  

  • MIT Innovation Initiative

  • HackMIT

  • Innovation Ambassadors

  • TechX group, a student-run organization 

For more information on raising capital and developing your invention, visit our Handbook for Inventors  

Who should I contact if I think there may be a mistake in the information presented in the Historical Inventor pages?

Please send an email to  info-lemelson@mit.edu  that includes the name of the person profiled; the information that you think is inaccurate; your suggested correction; and sources that support your correction. We are dedicated to providing accurate information in our inventor profiles and will do our best to review and correct misinformation as quickly as possible. 

Who should I contact if I want permission to use a photo from your website?

Please send an email to  info-lemelson@mit.edu  that includes the name of the photo you would like permission to use and  where  the photo will be used.  We do not own the copyrights to all photos on our website. You will be asked to contact the photographer directly in some instances. 

Do you have invention programs for young inventors?

Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams is an initiative of the Lemelson-MIT Program that awards annual grants of up to $10,000 each to teams of high-school students, teachers and mentors to invent technological solutions to real world problems.  JV InvenTeams curriculum are available for middle school students and educators to develop skills in science, technology, engineering and math through fun, hands-on invention-based design activities. Young inventors ages 6-12 can enter the ideas4ears invention competition, or get involved with an invention convention in their local area.  MIT also has many K-12 outreach programs available to the public.