The Kids Invent! approach to learning is an engaging and natural way for kids to learn math, science,
invention, and the process of transforming abstract ideas into tangible things. Through the invention
experience inherent in Kids Invent! Creative Activities, children are faced with practical problems
which they learn to solve through observation, thinking, and experimentation. As part of that process,
they also learn to use tools and materials, to manage time, and work with others.
KIDS INVENT! IS A UNIQUE LEARNING PROGRAM BECAUSE. . .
- Kids learn math, science, creativity, and entrepreneurship
- Kids experiment with the invention process so they may continue to invent even after the conclusion of each activity
- Kids work as a team to invent and develop
- Kids Invent! promotes lifelong learning and creativity, and builds skills that will help kids succeed
- Kids Invent! Creative Activities meet Next Generation Science Standards
- Kids love the creativity-based, hands-on program, and happily engage in the challenges of inventing everything from robots to radios
- Kids Invent! Creative Activities are accessible to all students (including special education)
KIDS INVENT! METHOD
Kids are happiest and most alert when they are active. So why do we tell
them to sit still and listen when we want them to learn?
Research has shown us the best ways to get kids to learn. And, it isn’t the
traditional classroom. The best ways mimic how inventors learn. They work
on problems, get ideas, and build models to test their ideas. Often times the
first solution doesn’t work, so they change it and try again.
Inventors are not the only ones who use this “fast prototype” approach.
People in all creative pursuits do this from artists and musicians to engineers
and entrepreneurs. The approach delivers learning at the speed of ideas.
And, the approach engages. People like learning using their creativity and
critical thinking skills. Even kids who don’t like learning like the Kids Invent!
method. In fact, these kids often race ahead faster than the A students.
What’s the secret? We treat kids as if they were inventors, designers, or
engineers. They work with one or two of their peers to build and test models
to solve problems. We choose problems that are challenging, yet do-able, and
that lead to discovery of the principle concepts of science.
Kids follow their curiosity and apply their creativity to learning what they
need to make their model the best. Because they built the model and did the
experiments, they understand the science. And they love the experience and
beg to do more.
Teachers love the process, too. They have to prepare, but during class they
are free to do what they always wanted to do: teach. Behavior problems
vanish as kids are engaged. Each team is engaged in their own project
working at their own speed and not needing constant instructions from their
teacher. So the teacher can wander around the room looking for the teachable
moment. This is the way teaching and learning should occur.
Science Standards are now in place throughout the US and much of the world.
Looking at dozens of state and national standards we see large differences
in the format and language and many similarities in content and approaches.
Nearly all stress an understanding of the process of science and the integrity
of science, along with understanding concepts of energy and energy transfer,
forces, motion and position, light, heat, and electricity. Many include
performing mathematical computations, estimating, and graphing. Most
include making and understanding the concepts of models and systems.
Many express the need for creative and critical thinking skills being part of
the science experience.Kids Invent! Creative Learning Activities cover these
processes and content areas. You can choose which CLA will meet your needs
and students' interest by referring to the attached table.
Participating in a single activity will not
guarantee that students will have
mastered the subject. We suggest
you look for the extensions
suggested in the CLAs and that
you conduct other activities
that cover the same topics.
Students need to experience
the concepts and processes in
different ways over a period of
time to truly comprehend them.
The value of CLAs is that they present
a natural way of inquiry learning that appeals
to the broadest spectrum of intelligence types and they develop
problem solving and creative thinking skills. In other words, the
CLAs mimic the experiences that professional scientists, engineers,
and inventors encounter. And, students enjoy the experience and
want to do more – which is the best sign of a successful learning