Magazine article Technology and Children

Patent It Fast! (Quick Activities)

Magazine article Technology and Children

Patent It Fast! (Quick Activities)

Article excerpt

Grade Level: 2 and up

Time: 40-50 minute period


In order to protect an invention, inventors often apply for a patent. A patent is a trade made between you and the U.S. government. You agree to share your ideas with the public and, in turn, you have the exclusive right to make and sell your invention for a certain time period. All inventions begin with an idea, but in order to apply for a patent, you have to show how your idea actually works. The U.S. Patent Office also needs you to show that your invention is "new and useful." Sometimes that is difficult to determine! In this activity, your students will make improvements to existing inventions and then file for a patent.

Design Problem

Design improvements to make the Ultimate Bicycle (depending on where you live and what activities your students do, you can change this to the Ultimate tennis shoe, skateboard, scooter, pencil, camping hat, sunglasses, etc.)

Materials * Pencil, paper, ruler, pictures of bicycles, current magazines.


* Computer with a drawing program and Internet access.


1. As a large group, discuss how a common item such as a school chair or a toothbrush could be improved. …

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