K-12 Inventure Prize: Teacher Reflections on Educating K-12 Inventors
The K-12 InVenture Prize is an invention experience and competition for K-12 students that operates in partnership with the Georgia Institute of Technology. Students across all grade levels and educational settings (e.g., regular, gifted, and Advanced Placement® classrooms in a variety of subject areas; after school programs) are eligible to participate. Generally, students work in small groups to develop inventions from problem identification to prototype over the course of multiple months. In the process, they present their ideas to others, solicit feedback, and iterate on their designs multiple times. Top inventions then compete in a statewide competition at Georgia Tech, which has been held annually since 2014.
In this paper, we summarize several years of data related to teachers’ experiences with the program and teachers’ perceptions of how the invention experience impacts students. Teachers generally report a high level of self-efficacy for various components of teaching an invention curriculum and are motivated to participate in the program primarily because they enjoy it and it corresponds with their goals and values as teachers. Across several academic years, teachers’ survey data reflects a high level of agreement that participation has had a positive impact on their students’ communication and teamwork skills, enthusiasm for learning about engineering and entrepreneurship, and knowledge of the engineering design process, all of which are elements of the invention process.