Ever wondered who invented the running shoe, potato chips or gene sequencing? This archive explores the biographies of some of the world’s most important inventors throughout history to modern times. Scientists, engineers, architects, chefs, and even a U.S. president are among the inventors whose unique stories, backgrounds, and what led them to invent are featured in the compilation. These inventors have made significant advances to society and left profound impacts on the lives of many.
JV InvenTeam Curriculum
Lemelson-MIT offers free JV InvenTeams™ curricula for students in grades 6-10 to hone their hands-on skills and enrich their STEM education through invention-based design activities.
Bee the Inventor
"Bee" the Inventor is a 10-page STEAM activity book that teaches kids (ages 6-8) about invention through the role leafcutter bees play in our environment. Kids learn how to build a bee house prototype for bees, Shagun and Dwij.
Educators, students and communities have experienced an impact from working with the Lemelson-MIT Program. We documented their inspirational stories to share with others who want to get involved with our program. Read about the team of high school students who found themselves Grand Marshall of a hometown Jubi-lee parade after their Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam invention earned them a trip to the 2013 White House Science Fair. Or, read the story of a teacher who imparts high-quality STEM and invention knowledge to students with disabilities, and reminds us how much students with disabilities have to offer.
Kids can learn how to make cool stuff through these fun and creative cartoons. Aimed toward children ages 7-12, HowToons engages readers in activities like building a swing, zipline, and other playground equipment. Kids can even learn how to create patent drawings so that all of their invention ideas can be put to paper.
Invention can happen everywhere! See where Lemelson-MIT award winners and InvenTeam students are inventing on this map. Maybe there is an InvenTeam or award winner in your state!
Cricket Media Articles on Invention
We collaborated with Cricket Media Inc. for their invention issues of CLICK, ASK, DIG, COBBLESTONE, and MUSE, which feature Lemelson-MIT young inventors and staff members.
Invention and Patent Resources
Few things in life are as satisfying as transforming your creative spark into reality! To help guide you along your inventive path, we complied helpful links to resources, including a free course that explores how to patent your invention and protect your intellectual property. Good luck with your invention and be sure to stay determined, persistent and above all, enthusiastic.
Anyone from any background or age can be an inventor and it can be fun! But, that’s not to say it doesn’t take persistence, hard work, and an imaginative mind to make an idea really come to life. For those just starting to explore the world of invention, we’ve put together a handbook of frequently asked questions. Here you will find explanations of key terms, what can be patented, how to conduct a patent search, how to apply for a patent, how to license an invention, and much more!
Inventing Merit Badge
The Lemelson-MIT Program partnered with the Boy Scouts of America in 2010 to encourage Scouts to be inventive and solve real-world problems. The merit badge provides Boy Scouts with an understanding of the impact and importance of inventive thinking and doing. Learn more about the requirements of earning the Inventing Merit Badge.