Leigh Estabrooks, InvenTeams Grants Officer: Woman on a Mission to Excite, Empower and Encourage a New Generation of Inventors
I have been part of the Lemelson-MIT Program for almost two years. Prior to this program I was a public school teacher in Massachusetts.
The final deliverable for all InvenTeams is a working prototype of their invention. In addition to building a working prototype, they are able to practice their learning and thinking skills, as well as their life skills. These skills need to be incorporated into schools deliberately, strategically and broadly. Life skills include leadership, ethics, accountability, people skills, and social responsibility, all of which InvenTeams helps develop.
One chief accomplishment has been to broaden the impact of the InvenTeams initiative by doubling the number of teachers to receive professional development on inventiveness, the invention process, and technical skills.
I want the initiative to grow both nationally and internationally. I'd like for InvenTeams to attract corporate sponsors to help us grow. In addition, I'd like to see the Lemelson-MIT Program with a middle school initiative as well as a high school initiative.
Watching students have fun learning and working in a group is very rewarding. These kids truly have a blast.
I could not function without the World Wide Web.
Any invention that helps to make life easier by balancing family and work is essential. I couldn't be productive without a personal computer. Not only does it make things readily available, but also I am able to managing finances, help my kids with their homework, communicate, and even entertain.
Johann Guttenberg's printing press from the 1400s was a transforming invention. Another one of my favorites is the telegraph and Morse code. Samuel Morse was a portrait painter yet he devised a way for people to communicate quickly over long distances! Morse code has been used for over 160 years. Some cell phones even have Morse code text messaging capability.