These two weeks, students in Integrated Technology are working on finding solutions and researching these solutions to be sure patents do not already exist.
All students were taught the SCAMPER method (click on the link to view the video kids saw in class) of “Thinking outside the box” to use objects that already exist in different ways. They viewed a video with examples and even collaborated with a partner to take a piece of plain white paper through this process. How can you SUBSTITUTE it for something else? What can you COMBINE it with to form something else? Their ideas were great!
Students were then given two yellow sheets of paper. One is a guide to take them through the SCAMPER process with their own problem from last week. The other is a patent search guide with links to research their solution. Google has its own way to search patents only. To search patents through Google, click here. This is very helpful for starting the search for solutions as well. In the SCAMPER method, “A” is for “Alter or Adapt.” The idea here is to change or improve something that already exists: (Madame CJ Walker adapted the hot styling comb.)
One more big idea that we talked about is that the Invention Convention is a process and it is very important to document your process; even things that do not work. How many of you have ever heard of Daniel Drawbaugh? How about Alexander Graham Bell? Drawbaugh claimed he invented the telephone BEFORE Graham Bell applied for the patent. The Supreme Court denied Drawbaugh’s claim because he did not have records to prove his idea. Graham Bell had meticulous records proving his work and was awarded the patent. Document document document!
The solutions students are coming up with are so inventive! They are doing a great job with this difficult process of higher level thinking and creativity! Their brains are getting excellent workouts!
(The Google Slideshow used while teaching this material and a digital copy of the two yellow guide sheets are in each student’s Google Classroom for reference.)