KID Museum’s signature Invention Studio program is now reaching kids across the world! Invention Studio, the core of the Invent the Future Challenge for middle schoolers, includes 5 deep-dive sessions to learn about design, electricity, sensors, fabrication, and rapid prototyping. Using their new skills, students are then challenged to answer the question: What can you make to protect life on this planet? The kids are put in teams where they get to create a prototype that does just that.
This year, through The Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative, KID educator Dania Roach had the opportunity to bring Invention Studio to Vietnam. With the help of Nga, a Vietnamese educator who spent 6 weeks last year learning at KID, as well as volunteers from a local college, Invention Studio was translated, promoted, and successfully taught to a group of Vietnamese middle school students.
The students were split into 6 groups, each faced with the challenge of inventing something to help sustain our planet. Student innovations included boats that could filter garbage out of water, a touchless trash can that used sensors to open, a conveyor belt that could sort waste into organic and inorganic materials, and a car that featured a distance sensor which would beep and light up to help prevent accidents.
Although Dania brought Invention Studio to the other side of the world, she explained how interesting it was that kids still identify similar problems to those that exist here. In her time teaching Invention Studio, she has consistently seen groups tackle the issue of pollution by creating a boat used for trash pickup. Even though they’re living in different places, they identify the same worldwide issues.
Dania explained that she would love to be a part of something like this in the future, emphasizing the success of her work in Vietnam and their plan to continue the program. She pointed to the fact that this kind of hands-on learning still needs to be spread around the U.S., which she believes can be done by sending educators to other parts of the country to teach Invention Studio as she did in Vietnam. She stated that “it’s such a unique thing that we’re doing. Even when we meet with similar organizations, they’re not doing anything like this.”
– Becca Neuman, KID Museum