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An inventive-thinking unit will challenge your students to think "outside the box." They'll employ creativity and imagination as they apply the facts and skills they've learned. And they'll be learning skills -- such as cooperative planning and problem solving -- that will serve them well as they become productive members of society. Included: Some of the best inventive-thinking sites on the WWW, offering hands-on projects that tap a wide range of intelligences!

When children are given the opportunity to interact and create, the mix is dynamic and the learning is inspiring!

Children have a gift for looking at the world in fresh and novel ways -- and a study of inventors and inventions taps into that ability and enables teachers to teach many skills that are part of the curriculum.

Even if you are not a science teacher, per se, consider what an inventive-thinking unit can offer you and your students. Even if you do not take your study to a culminating activity such as a science fair, think about the infinite possible connections to your language arts, math, and social studies curricula!

After you've read this article, if you're looking for more resources, check out the teaching resource page Inventors and Inventions.


"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."
--Albert Einstein

Consider the possibilities at Invention Dimension. Here is a site that celebrates both contemporary and historic American inventors. The site's Inventor of the Week Archives offer an alphabetical, searchable database of inventors that is ideal for studying biographies, African American history, or women's history. Features such as the Inventor of the Week and the Inventor's Handbook are wonderful introductions to the inventor's trade, and the Lemelson-MIT Awards is a great program for recognizing the creative work of high-school students!

As your students consider some masters of invention, take them to the Edison National Historic Site, the Franklin Institute's homage to Benjamin Franklin.