In our last project, we were attempting our first school-wide PBL effort. It's not just our 300 or so kids, but all 1800 or so, with the entire staff. But in the midst of supporting a positive school-wide exposure to PBL, we also pushed our kids even further, and they nailed it!
In our Tools for Tomorrow project, we asked the kids for their ideas on what is needed, wanted, necessary. We really wanted to push that you don't have to have a full-blown, perfect and proven item. Emphasizing creativity and identification of opportunity were our keys. Lots of folks said, you mean like "Shark Tank"? No, because those folks have revenue and product development. It's more like "KickStarter", where there may or may not be a prototype.
You see, kids don't know that their ideas are worth money, so our challenge to them: come up with your concepts, be ready to "pitch" them in a genuine way, and we will bring in investors, inventors and others to consider taking it to the next level. And then something cool happened....
Our investors would like to take 4 concepts to get patented, and 1 more to get trademarked!
Yes, our kids are pursuing patents. AND it's such a variety of kids too: mostly female, cool engineering ideas, some at-risk kids. We've won other great awards, but now we're on to the highest levels of authenticity in the world of intellectual property!! As teachers, we are now dreaming of the potential "positive contagion" that this could become, a catalyst and motivator for so many, as they see what their peers have accomplished.
There's going to be a big celebration if/when these patents are approved, a celebration of so many things!!
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