Monday, February 24, 2014

Mancel Talcott Elementary School Outreach

On Thursday, February 6th, I arrived at Mancel Talcott Elementary School in order to do after-school community outreach activities with Ms. Pagan and Mr. Rowe's 5th and 8th grade students. 

First, I began with an icebreaker where the students were asked to name one invention that they had used that day. After that activity, I introduced Mr. Edward Spriggins as the guest speaker. Mr. Spriggins, the Business Development Manager at iMagine-it-Tech, spoke about his experiences at iMagine-it-Tech helping inventors value and develop their ideas. During his presentation, Edward pointed out to the students that often the best inventions are simple solutions to a common problem or need. In order to illustrate this point, Edward showed the students this hilarious image:  

1970s tree swing cartoon picture

After Edward's presentation, I passed out the four objects that I had brought from home-- one object for each group of students. I had brought a little ribbon-shaped phone screen cleaner; a bookend; a paperclip; and one piece of gonggi, the Korean version of jacks, which can essentially be described as a small, plastic bead filled with glitter. Whether the students recognized the object and its intended function or not, the goal of the activity was to have each student in each group come up with a new, different use for their object. The students were extremely creative in the new uses they thought of for the objects, my favorite being the repurposing of a bookend as a pizza slicer!

Finally, I wrapped up the visit with a review of the Cycle of Inventing and asked the students if they wanted to talk about any preliminary ideas that they had for their projects. After having thanked and said goodbye to the class, Mr. Spriggins and I left the school building feeling very excited by the creativity of the students we had the pleasure of working with that day and eager to see what inventions they will dream up for the Invention Convention in the spring!



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