Science for Kids - Invention

The basics of how inventions are made and what an inventor does

This - Science for Kids - primer is geared towards the understanding of inventing and inventions. Do you want to learn about the patent system, and understand what a patent search is? Throughout history, inventions have helped people discover new worlds, build communities, develop resources, increase productivity, cure diseases, ease burdens, and enjoy life to the fullest.

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Science for Kids - How Did They Think of That

Portrait of a Primary School Boy Reading a Science Book
Richard Lewisohn/ Photodisc/ Getty Images

Geared to the needs of Kindergarten to 6th Grade. Read about how inventors come up with their ideas. Read how different inventors thought up their inventions. Learn how you can think like an inventor. Do experiments which will help you think more like an inventor and help you invent.

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Science for Kids - Inventing Stories

Chester Greenwood - Earmuffs
Chester Greenwood - Earmuffs. USPTO

Geared to the needs of Kindergarten to 6th Grade. Read about how the inventors of Silly Putty, Mr. Potato Head, Raggedy Ann, Mickey Mouse, earmuffs, blue jeans and Coca-Cola came up with their ideas.

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Science for Kids - Kindergarten to 6th Grade

illustration: IBM scientists working on inventing the first IBM computer. Mary Bellis

Geared to the needs of Kindergarten to 6th Grade. Would you like to be an inventor? Many inventors find things that happen in their daily life that cause them to think of some problem in a new way. Other inventions come about when their inventors try to think of uses for things.

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Science for Kids - 6th to 12th Grade

The lava lamp was invented by Craven Walker.
illustration: The lava lamp was invented by Craven Walker. Learn about the invention of the lava lamp. Mary Bellis

Geared to the needs of 6th to 12th Grade. Amazing and inspiring stories about famous inventors. Read about how inventors come up with their ideas. The mistakes which turned into million dollar inventions. Learn to think like an inventor.

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Stories of Creativity

Magnification of Velcro Fabric
Magnification of Velcro Fabric. Mary Bellis

Geared to the needs of 6th to 12th Grade. Many times you can come up with a solution for a problem (or find a problem that fits your solution!) by either "turning a problem around" or selecting two or more things at random and using them to "seed" new ideas.

What is a Patent Search?
What is a Patent Search?. Mary Bellis

Geared to the needs of 6th to 12th Grade. Learn how to search for a patent like a pro. You can look up information on everything ever invented. More »

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Science for Kids - All Levels

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Mary Bellis

The who, what, when, how & why answers to how your ideas are protected and understanding inventions. Learn the basics of the laws that protect inventions. Throughout history, inventions have helped people discover new worlds, build communities, develop resources, increase productivity, cure diseases, ease burdens, and enjoy life to the fullest.

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Trademarks Fingerprints of Commerce

United States Patent and Trademark Office
United States Patent and Trademark Office. Mary Bellis

For All Levels - Everyday, each of us encounters at least 1,500 trademarks and up to 30,000 if we visit a supermarket. They help us know the source of a product or service and give us valuable information about quality and consistency.

Abraham Lincoln portrayed on the penny
Abraham Lincoln portrayed on the penny. Mary bellis

For All Levels - Abraham Lincoln had a strong interest in new technology and was the only United States President to hold a patent. More »

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The Art of Toys

The Art of Toys
The Art of Toys. Mary Bellis

For All Levels - Toy manufacturers and toy inventors use both utility and design patents, along with trademarks and copyrights. In fact, many toys especially video games take advantage of all three types of intellectual property protection.

Three Part Harmony - Music Copyright
Three Part Harmony - Music Copyright. Mary Bellis

For All Levels - Mary had a little lamb." With these words, Thomas Edison started a technological revolution that continues today. The phonograph marked the beginning of the recording industry. He discovered it while doing research on sound waves for several other inventions, built a prototype, and was granted a patent in 1877. More »

George Washington Carver
George Washington Carver. Mary Bellis

For All Levels - What we know about early African American innovators comes mostly from the work of Henry Baker. He was an assistant patent examiner at the U.S. Patent Office who was dedicated to uncovering and publicizing the contributions of Black inventors. More »

Grace Murray Hopper
Grace Murray Hopper. Courtesy Norfolk Naval Center

For All Levels - Until about 1840, only 20 patents were issued to women. The inventions related to apparel, tools, cook stoves, and fire places. More »

Stories about Great Thinkers and Famous Inventors
Stories about Great Thinkers and Famous Inventors. Courtesy of Laurel Middle School

For All Levels -┬áStories about great thinkers and inventors will help to motivate your students and enhance their appreciation of the contributions of inventors. As students read these stories, they will also realize the "inventors" are male, female, old, young, minority, and majority. They are ordinary people who follow through with their creative ideas to make their dreams a reality. More »

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Science For Kids - Teachers & Parents

Parents, Teachers & Coaches Resources. Learn how to help your child learn about inventing and how to protect an invention made by a child. This is legal material from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Or, if you are considering inventing yourself or if you wish to understand what the process is from a professional perspective.