I am so excited to share more information with my followers regarding a wonderful STEAM based program in Ohio for kids grade K-12! I am also pleased to introduce Robin Hilsmeier, who is the Executive Director of the Ohio Invention League, as my guest blogger for this post!
If you have never heard of the Ohio Invention Convention or the Invention League, definitely spend some time reading through her post and checking out the additional resources below! For background, I ‘met’ Robin briefly (virtually) during a STEAM working group in Northeast Ohio late last year and we connected regarding Ohio’s Invention League! It is such neat program for kids. I asked if she would be willing to help share all the details on my blog! If your child would like to participate the deadline to register this year is February 15.
As parents, we want our kids to grow up healthy, be empathetic and helpful, and learn skills that will enable them to be successful in a job they enjoy. With the world changing so quickly, many of our children will work in a job that has not yet been created. We are fortunate to live in a state that values innovation – Ohio is trying to position itself to be an innovation hub for the country and the world. Ohio is home to some of the finest healthcare facilities in the world where research and innovation is at the forefront.
According to LinkedIn, here are the skills Generation Z kids need to learn for the 21st Century workforce:
No matter what profession our kids might embrace in the future, research shows these skills, combined with STEAMED (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics, Entrepreneurship, and Determination) Education, are essential in preparing them to be successful.
Invention education, through the Ohio Invention Convention, combines all these into one program. Through the Invention League’s Invention Convention program, K-12 students pick a real-world problem, then use STEAM to ideate, research, and move through the design and engineering process to invent a prototype. Then, kids use their communication skills to pitch the idea to business and community leaders. In addition, OHIC gives kids the chance to showcase their inventions in Regional competitions and the Ohio Invention Convention state competition, with the chance of winning Ohio CollegeAdvantage 529 awards! Some award-earning inventors at the Ohio Invention Convention may be eligible to compete in the Invention Convention US National competition, sponsored by The Henry Ford.
The free, inclusive curriculum is very flexible; it can be done with an educator, parents, or in a homeschool setting. From an educational standpoint, it aligns to:
- Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
- STEM standards
- Ohio Common Core
- Social & Emotional Learning Standards
What’s even more important is that kids can personalize their own learning opportunities and integrate multiple learning disciplines. Empathetic kids use their problem-solving skills to solve problems and make the world a better place. Design-thinkers may use the skills they have learned to go into a career in architecture, fashion design, engineering or anything you can imagine.
In an effort to keep our students and families healthy, the program is being offered virtually this year. Thus, as long as your family has access to an internet connection – you can participate. Registration is open until February 15, 2021, which allows plenty of time for kids to use the curriculum to identify a problem in their everyday life and work through the design process. Once completed, their video pitch can be uploaded for judging based upon the region where they live. The Invention League team is available to answer questions and guide you through all the steps. Students can also join a Virtual Inventors Club and get peer mentoring from a community of experienced student inventors.
Award-earning inventors have also been recognized by their district Senator or House Representative for Kid Inventor Day!
For more information you can check out these resources:
OHIC Outreach coordinator: Amy Calhoun: Amy@InventionLeague.org
Written by: Robin Hilsmeier
Ohio Invention League Executive Director