Student inventors show off their problem-solving creations for the 2021 Invention Convention

Do you think you could make a problem-solving invention using items at home?

Over the last 10 weeks, we challenged our Think Together students to do just that. Students have engaged in a blend of invention skill-building activities, discussion, and invention work which culminated with students showcasing their invention ideas and prototype solutions for a problem important to them. This programming has been possible for our students through a partnership with Lemelson-MIT’s Invention Adventures

Our students received two 1-hour virtual sessions per week starting in November 2020. In these sessions, students have been able to follow their natural curiosity and develop creative, inventive mindsets and skills that prepare them for future careers in a rapidly changing world. At the end of February, students virtually presented their inventions to judges from Boeing, Southern California Edison, PayPal, Western Digital and Cisco.

David H. Chan, Senior Patent Counsel for Western Digital said “I am a patent attorney who works with many adult inventors, so I was very impressed with these young inventors and their inventions.  I’m happy to support this program that encourages innovation at a young age.”

Think Together had 42 students participate across 13 school sites in Santa Fe Springs, Los Angeles and the Inland Empire.  The students took this challenge to heart and showed amazing ingenuity and creativity with their inventions. Our judges had a hard time choosing who moved on to the next round of the Invention Convention, with 14 students ultimately getting chosen to move on to the state-level competition.

“As an engineer, it is always refreshing to listen to inventors describe the challenges they see and hear their innovative solutions.  From the young inventor working with their pet bird to prototype an automatic feeder, to another young inventor making life easier for her grandfather– the Think Together Invention Convention provides an enriching venue for students to be innovative problem solvers. It was great to hear all about these potential products. I look forward to seeing what these inventors will come up with next!” Says Jomya Lei, Boeing Radio Frequency Engineer.

The state-level competition is on April 17, and our young inventors are brimming with excitement! Over the next few weeks, they will be practicing their presentations, learning about how to make great videos, and crossing their fingers that they will win an award.

Think Together would like to thank our judges for their participation in our Invention Convention. Our students truly appreciated the real-time feedback and encouragement they received, and your helpful rubric comments to help them hone their inventions for the next round.  Your partnership is why we can change the odds for kids.