Lemelson-MIT Invention Convention Logo

Fall 2021: Begin your Journey in Invention Education

Bring an exciting, project-based program to your school that enhances students’ creative problem solving and critical thinking skills through invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Invention Education is where inventors, innovators, and entrepreneurs get their start

Session Objectives:

Participants will learn tools and lesson plans that enable students to:

  • Think critically and creatively

  • Analyze problems

  • Ask questions

  • Collaborate with peers

  • Make real-world connections

Session Highlights:

  • Engage in activities that guide you through the Invention Process
  • Discover strategies that enable students to become creative problem-solvers
  • Gain access to invention education curriculum aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards and the Common Core standards
  • Learn how to implement invention education in a classroom, school, district, Scout program, or at home
  • Understand the participation requirements for both the state level and the National Invention Convention events
  • Learn how Lemelson-MIT and the invention convention organizations can support the educators who teach the program
Session Leaders

Join and learn from leaders in Invention Education.

Christine Lawlor-King
Christine Lawlor-King
Executive Director, Connecticut Invention Convention

Christine Lawlor-King exemplifies an educator who is both pioneering innovation and entrepreneurship learning in the classroom and a visionary in her own right. She created her district’s award-winning K-12 STEM program and has been the catalyst for implementing invention education curriculum in 500+ CT schools. She helped to establish and manage the Invention Convention Worldwide (annually brings innovation & entrepreneurship teaching to 100k+ students globally). Her efforts recently earned her STEMconnector’s Community Trailblazer Award.

Brenda Payne
Brenda Payne
Executive Director, California Invention Convention

Brenda began her career as an educator in Northern California where she introduced invention education to students, utilizing an engineering curriculum that she helped develop for her district. Continuing on as a principal at several schools in Northern and Central California and an interim superintendent for a small district in Santa Cruz County, she began the California Invention Convention (CAIC), a program that today serves thousands of students, as an annual celebration of K-12 inventors and entrepreneurs from across the state. Brenda has provided the professional development for the CAIC curriculum that teachers use in their classrooms and after-school programs.

Pascha Griffiths
Pascha Griffiths, PhD
Massachusetts Invention Education Coordinator, Lemelson-MIT Program

Pascha has taken lead roles in LMIT’s Inventing with Toy Design, Professional Development, Invention Adventures program, and the Massachusetts Invention Convention. Prior to this, she worked in education for over 20 years, teaching a variety of subjects to a range of students from nursery school to adult learners. She relishes investing in educators because, in her experience, educators make enthusiastic learners who multi- ply their learning by investing in their students. Since 2013, Pascha has been coaching pre-service science teachers at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, Lesley University’s Teacher Education Program, and College of the Atlantic’s Teacher Certification Program.

Why Invention Education?

  • Invention education empowers young people to develop the skills and self-confidence they need to identify and solve real-world problems and to make informed choices about their future careers.

  • Through invention education, you can introduce your students to a world in which they solve their own problems and gain the confidence and skills to invent their own future.
  • STEM education, when combined with invention education, prepares students for the challenges and opportunities that await. By nurturing critical thinking, problem finding, and iterative problem solving, STEM education is empowering a new generation of inventors who can thrive in the 21st-century economy.
Alongside invention education, invention conventions are experiential STEM learning events that offer:
  • Real-world project-based learning
  • Engaging curriculum

  • Exciting events at school, state, and national levels

People working on a project

Creative Problem Solving and Inventing: A Proven Approach for STEM Education

Join our summer professional development session, June 15-17, 2022.

Stay tuned- Registration opens soon. More information below.

Help All Students Learn to Think and Act as Inventors

Be a part of an inclusive invention education movement! 

Join our three-day, virtual professional development workshop to learn how invention education helps K-12 administrators and educators address the federal STEM plan by offering programs that are transdisciplinary, build computational literacy, and support students' engagement in their local communities. Community College educators will hear from faculty and administrators about the new Invention and Inclusive Innovation program for community colleges being prototyped with multiple colleges in California. 

Transform your approach to teaching and facilitating student learning through our evidence-based model, backed by published research and case studies. The approach includes facilitating connections between schools and districts, STEM professionals, and other community supporters. You’ll hear from expert speakers, educators, and colleagues about activities and techniques that help inclusive and diverse student populations develop confidence in their ability to engage in STEM and pursue STEM college and career pathways. 


Classroom  Jelani  Teachers handling materials

Session Topics

Day 1 - June 15:

  • VIP Breakfast: Intro to IvE, InvenTeams & EF
  • EurekaFest: InvenTeams & i3 Showcase (5+ teams in person)
  • EurekaFest: InvenTeams Presentations (5? teams online and 5+ teams in person)
  • Optional: MIT campus tours or VIP Orientation (virtual)
  • MIT Museum Reception (in person only)


Day 2 - June 16

  • Social/networking breakfast
  • Option 1: Interested, Now What?: Growth Paths for Invention Educators
  • Option 2: Embedding IvE Within School Designs
  • Option 3: Invention Adventures and Invention Conventions: First Stops on the Pathway to Invention
  • Option 4: Inventing in your Community
  • Option 5: Invention and Entrepreneurship at Community Colleges


Session Leaders

Join and learn from leaders in Invention Education.

Stephanie Couch Headshot
Stephanie Couch
Executive Director, Lemelson-MIT Program



10 am - 4 pm each day



10 am - 4 pm each day


Breakfast and lunch all three days

Travel and accommodations not included

Group working  Gloria Zoom  Team activities

Who Should Attend?
- Administrators and Superintendents
- Educators at all levels
- Community College Administrators and Faculty
- After-school professionals

We encourage participation by teams consisting of both administrators and educators committed to creating pathways to invention for students. Invention is interdisciplinary, so educators from all disciplines are invited to attend.
What will you learn?
Administrators and educators, of varying levels of experience with invention education, will develop the capacity to help students learn to think and act as inventors. There will be separate tracks for administrators and for educators by experience (new to invention education, experienced, and community college level). There will be separate tracks for administrators and for educators by grade span.

Participants will learn:
- Approaches to engaging students from diverse backgrounds in STEM learning
- Ways to develop students' capacities to think and act as inventors
- Hands-on activities that will help students become creative problem solvers
- Best practices for strengthening STEM, entrepreneurship, and enrichment programming
Facilitators & Speakers
Workshop sessions will be facilitated by Lemelson-MIT Program staff (former teachers), former Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam teachers who have experience helping students learn to invent, and guest speakers from the innovation and education sector. 2021 speakers included:

- Arlyne Simon, inventor and author of “Abby Invents Unbreakable Crayons”
- Ken R. Kay, CEO of EdLeader21 and founding president of Partnership for 21st Century Skills
- George Westerman, Principal Research Scientist at MIT’s J-WEL Workforce Learning

Excite Award

Educators can apply for an Excite Award to receive the three-day professional development opportunity with the Lemelson-MIT Program for free. Check back in the spring of 2022 when the Excite Award application will re-open.