STEM@Home: Kid-ventions

The United States Patent and Trademark Office for Kids

Image credit: Creative Tools from Halmstad, Sweden / CC BY (

Calling all kid-ventors! Are you itching for an at-home kid-venture? Maybe you’ve got dreams of making money with a new product as a kid-vendor? Don’t just whine about it, like a kid-venter – STEM@Home is here to help you become a kid-inventor! The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has shared some fascinating resources on the history of America’s inventions – and you get to step inside the mind of an inventor and patent-holder.

Dream It, Do It: Using Patents to Create

The USPTO has over 10 million patents on record, highlighting the innovation and creativity of Americans for hundreds of years. Get up close and personal with three of them in the USPTO’s Build/Make an Invention page. Try your hand at building the inventions that were once brand-new ideas!

Inventors invent to solve a problem or bring a new idea to the world. What problems of the inventor’s world do you think the following patents might solve? Do we still have those problems today? How do we try to solve them – or can you think of a better way than the inventions below to improve the world?

  • K-2: Flipbook. Make your drawings come alive!
  • 3-5: Paper Cup. Calling all scouts! This patent is held by Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts in America.
  • 6-8: Model Rocket. You can’t really build a model rocket with household materials…. or can you?

How’d They Do That? The Science of Innovation

Inventions aren’t miracles of nature – there are teams of people working on developing some of the amazing inventions that drive (sometimes literally!) our modern world. The USPTO has partnered with NBC to create Science of Innovation videos. Featuring interviews with inventors and patent holders, describing the process of developing their innovative techniques, these videos have There are plenty of topics to geek out over, but some of our favorites are:

  • 3D Printing
  • Anti-Counterfeiting Devices,
  • Driverless Cars

Excited for some hands-on problem solving of your own? Check out Hope Summer Science Camp’s Exploration Boxes, a summer of STEM challenges without leaving home! Banish boredom while you innovate and build your own marble roller coasters, water runs, and chain reaction machines – while getting inspired by virtual design sessions led by our summer camp staff. Register today!

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