I have started a non-profit educational organization that trains teachers how to teach the principles of problem solving and invention through a hands-on, minds-on group activity entitled the Invention Contest. The ten step process takes upwards of eight weeks to complete and can be thought of as a group project culminating in a contest that brings together students, parents, industry, teachers, and school staff. The process involves giving the students a challenge to design a device that performs a certain task like launching a golf ball into a waste basket in one try. Please visit www.invent4life.org to gain an insight into this amazingly deep subject. The program teaches students how to 1) work in groups 2) brainstorm ideas 3) learn how to schedule tasks 4) learn how to operate on a budget 5) develop communication skills (written and oral) 6) learn from failures 7) learn how to test, redesign, and retest solutions and much more.
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