Thursday, February 6, 2014

Irving Elementary School Outreach

On Wednesday morning, I worked with Ms. Falwell's 3rd and 4th grade elective classes at Irving Elementary School!  Her class focuses on more advanced science topics and, once a week, on inventions.

I played a video for the class (see below), which highlighted the work of Bernard Kiwia, a Tanzanian inventor from Arusha, Tanzania, who invents products that use bicycle powered energy.  I had the opportunity to meet with him when I worked with young student inventors in Arusha in 2012, and he was very inspiring!

After watching the video, we talked about how Bernard applies the Cycle of Inventing (see presentation link below) to his invention process so he can address problems specific to his community.

We also talked about patents - most students didn't know what a patent was, so they got a chance to learn something new!  We used an example of a Adjustable Bicycle-Parasol and Support patent to discuss how a problem can be solved in many different ways and how a product can solve many different problems.

Finally, we did an activity to apply the students' creative thinking and problem-solving skills.  Students passed around a Quirky invention in small groups and brainstormed different ways they could use the invention.  Most groups didn't know what their invention was, so it was cool to see all the different ways they thought of to use the inventions!

Click here to view my powerpoint presentation.   Ms. Falwell also took some pictures, so I'm hoping she will get to post some on the blog - stay tuned! 

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