INNOV> [Innovative-Teaching] ITN: Inventions <January 26, 2003>

  • From: Gleason Sackmann <gleason@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: K12Newsletters <k12newsletters@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 27 Jan 2003 07:54:30 -0600

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From: "Walter  "  <mrmck@xxxxxxxxxxxx>"
To:  <Innovative-Teaching@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sun, 26 Jan 2003 19:58:03 -0000
Subject: [Innovative-Teaching] ITN: Inventions <January 26, 2003>
Go to for the html
version of this week's newsletter:

The volume of online resources to be considered is so large I am
breaking them into two newsletters. This week we will focus on the
process of inventing. Next week we will focus on inventors.

Simple machines are a common Science topic across the nation, and
there is no better way to apply skills and concepts of simple
machines than implementing a unit challenging students to apply what
they've learned! In fact, whether you're approaching it from a
purely science point-of-view or you'd like to incorporate math and
language arts, a unit study of inventors and inventions is a great
way to offer, authentic, real world, higher level application of
skills and concepts students have been learning over the span of
their academic careers.

Here's a digital dozen of resources designed to help you make this a
show-stopper for your school year. Thanks to Jerry B. for his
recommendations. Please keep those topic suggestions and recommended
resources coming!

3M Invention Unit -
A wonderful step-by-step unit helping students plan, develop and
market their own original inventions with a very practical approach
as they move from scout to wizard to critic and trail blazer.

Build a Bridge -
Sponsored by NOVAonline, this site requires participants to study
bridge structures and determine the strengths and weaknesses of each
before playing an interactive game.

Games machines Play -
>From PBS' Scientific American frontiers, includes .pdf and html
teacher guides on Building a Better Mousetrap, a Car Streamlined
Design and a Rube Goldberg Project. Very detailed and ready to use.

Invention Playhouse -
The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation offers
this virtual play lab where students can explore the connections
between play and invention.

Iz and Auggie and the Invention Snatchers -
In this online simulation students will learn the fundamentals of
Internet research and discover challenging ideas about inventors and
how inventions come to be.

Kids Invent -
Dr. Ed leads students through the process of planning, designing,
building, testing and even marketing their original ideas. Separate
support links for teachers and parents.

MITs Invention Dimension -
This is an offbeat approach to making inventing exciting for kids
through games, inventor and invention resources, inventor profiles
and patent guidelines. Top quality materials!

National Geographic Inventions -
National Geographic World presents this online group of "invention
games" which earn you tokens; once you have five tokens you can work
the Action Contraption and win a prize!

The New Way Things Work -
Based on the classic Macaulay book, this site does an excellent job
of explaining the scientific principles behind different machines
and even includes a new section on digital electronics. See also

Ronald J. Riley's Internet Pages -
Recognized by MIT's Invention Dimension, this scientist offers a
unique perspective on becoming an inventor for kids - there's even a
special section encouraging girls in the sciences.

U.S. Patent Office Kid's Pages -
A great site designed to inspire kids to use their imagination and
invent. Lots of materials here with regards to intellectual property
matters and patents too.

The Wonka Factory -
Yes, the gratuitous references to the candies are here, but check
out this room: Knid Knockers, Oompas Rush and the Nerds Ropes game!
Invention trivia too.

Find More Great Resources at

Next Week's Topic: "Inventors"

You can email URL's of high quality sites which may be of interest
to our readers as well as new topic ideas and input and feedback:
ITN Archive

This newsletter may be forwarded or copied provided the header and
signature information remain intact. Show a colleague what you have
found in Innovative Teaching! ©2003 Walter McKenzie

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