Inventions, Grades K-2
Developed and Taught by Mary E. Hopper
An invention is something new or original that has never existed
until the inventor thought it up. Inventions are rarely entirely new.
Usually they are cominations of already existing objects and ideas
put together in a unique way, for a new purpose.
Inventing is a process which incorporates science process skills
and involves creative thinking, visual thinking and inventive thinking.
In order to invent, some knowledge background and some manual
skills are also necessary.
Students will learn about inventions by exploring and practicing
the creative thinking process involved in producing inventions.
Most of the class time will be spent in applying these processes
to making real inventions of each student's own creation.
The course will provide students with the opportunity to increase
their knowledge of science concepts, develop manual skills and
stimulate creative thinking skills.
- Utilize the tools and methods of real inventors.
- Use creative thinking and problem solving to produce inventions.
- Develop self awareness and acceptance of their own capacities to produce inventions.
- Analyze, produce and evaluate inventions.
- Investigate a broad variety of inventions and innovations made by inventors.
The following are the creative thinking skills emphasized in the course:
- Fluency means thinking of many, many, many, many ideas.
Your ideas do not have to be unusual. When you use fluency,
you try to get as many ideas as you can in a few minutes.
- Flexibility is another productive thinking skill.
Flexibility means thinking of different kinds of ideas.
When you are flexible, your mind can hop or jump from one
category of ideas to another.
- Originality is another productive thinking skill.
Originality means thinking of usual ideas, ideas you do not
think anyone else will think of.
An original thinker can think of more than just common, ordinary ideas.
A good imagination is the original thinker's best friend.
- Elaboration is another productive thinking skill.
Elaboration means adding details to make and idea clearer or more interesting.
One Fun and Favorite Course Highlight: Invention Dissection
Part of an amateur inventor's training should include learning as much
as possible about how existing inventions work. Kids can apply mechanical
principles they lear from studying others inventions to designing their
own inventions. It's not hard to find worn-out, broken, or simply unwanted
inventions to study. Old clocks, electric egg beaters, toasters, and other
mechanical delights are tossed into trash cans by the dozens each day.
All of these gadgets represent the brainstorm of some past creative inventor,
and they all incorporate marvelous engineering principles. So, collect one
or more of these unwanted jewels and carefully dissect them-take the things
apart to see what makes them tick. Dissection is an appropriate word because
to the biologist this process ddoes not mean hacking animals to pieces.
It means carefully separating the organs of preserved specimens for the
purpose of precisely studying them. Kids can apply the same exacting approach
to the dissection of machines, and learn about their parts in the same way
biologist becomes familiar with the organs inside animals. Dissecting
discarded devices can be a lot of fun and it provides good experience
in using hand tools and in approaching a task systematically. And,
the experience of putting a dissected invention back togetheris much
like using logic to solve a pozzle.
Bibliography available upon request.
© Mary E. Hopper [MEHopper] |
[posted 01/01/01 | revised 02/02/02]