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Patents and Design ideas

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Design +4 Age Levels Elementary (9 to 12 years old), Middle School (13 to 15 years old)

*This is a smaller portion of the process of creating an invention.*


Goal:  Students will see the importance in how patents and designs are drawn and created before they begin to make their own.  

Introduction:  Students are shown a picture of a sewing machine, but in the patent form.  Have them try to guess what it is.  Discuss why detailed drawings are important and how it helps in creating a design for an idea.  

Students use the see, think, wonder routine to work with other photos of patents and designs and figure out what they are.  Let the students guide the discussion with their ideas and explanations.  They can try to back up their opinions with information to explain what they think they are seeing in the pictures.  Students will then watch a short film clip to see how inventors got inspired.  Then discuss ways they might get inspired and talk about what they do in every day life that they could improve upon.  I use this example because it is the easiest for them to wrap their heads around in the beginning.  

Wrap up with an "I use to think, but now I think" discussion about how important designs are and being detailed can make a difference in a drawing.  

This could take one or two class periods as a short introduction before jumping into a designing project.  I've also included the SparkLab's Inventors Notebook as an example of how to walk students through the design/creating process.  


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