In 2006, Leigh Estabrooks joined the Lemelson-MIT Program to manage the InvenTeams initiative and two years later became the invention education officer, overseeing all K-12 invention education initiatives. She has been instrumental in the development of new initiatives, including Junior Varsity InvenTeams™ and the 2010 launch of the Inventing Merit Badge with the Boy Scouts of America. Leigh previously held positions in product development at Fortune 500 companies and was a licensed secondary school educator. She received a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from the University of Tennessee, a master’s degree in business management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a doctoral degree in education from Northeastern University.
What is your favorite invention of all time?
My favorite invention is of “a new and useful improvement in the art of producing artificial ices.” This is how the invention of Nancy Johnson was described in her 1843 U.S. patent for an ice cream maker. It was a hand operated crank machine that made ice cream using two cylinders and an ice/salt mixture. I enjoy making ice cream at home but with a maker that’s quick, electric powered and with an enclosed phase changing mixture instead of the ice and salt mixture.
If you could invent anything, what would it be?
A carbon neutral energy solution for homes