Imagine the Possibilities!by: Kris Churchman

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For the classroom teacher, the potato can be an affordable "root of endless possibilities." Therefore, when helping students prepare for yearly participation in the Invent America program (an annual nationwide invention competition for K-12 students), the author leads her third-grade class through a “dry-run” of the inventing process using potatoes. Students model invention steps with diagrams, write a patent request, create imaginative marketing slogans, and discover the nature of science in the process.

  • Elementary
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  • on Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:53 PM

The author describes a unit designed to teach students how to create an invention. While the author uses potatoes as the main object of discussion, I have seen similar lessons done with pencils, dolls, paper towels, the idea is to teach students to think "outside of the box". The author also does a wonderful job of including literacy connections to the engineering lesson, such that both sets of standards were addressed in an innovative and engaging set of lessons. With engineering a component of the new Science Framework, this article provides useful information for teachers from elementary through middle school on how to integrate science, engineering and literacy.

Tina Harris  (Fairmount, IN)
Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN)

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