Invention Programs

Opportunity, access, and mentorship are essential elements for engaging kids, and giving them what they need to succeed in the 21st century. KID Museum’s invention programming harnesses each of these elements, with the goal of empowering all children to invent their future with creativity, compassion, and grit.

KID Museum’s Invention Programs integrate STEM, art, and social responsibility along with social-emotional learning. During multiple sessions, students are guided through the invention process — designing, developing, prototyping, and trouble-shooting their ideas. These hands-on, project-based learning experiences promote creative problem-solving, adaptability, and a sense of agency — and are making a real impact on students’ lives.

A recent evaluation conducted in collaboration with The PEAR Institute: Partnerships in Education and Resilience, at Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital, showed that students in KID Museum’s Invention Studio program made significant gains in STEM interest, STEM enjoyment, and 21st century skills like perseverance, critical thinking, and relationships with peers and adults — far exceeding other STEM enrichment programs nationwide.

Through partnerships with Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) and local independent schools, we’re bridging in-school and out-of-school learning and bringing powerful learning opportunities to students throughout the region.

Invention Studio

KID Museum piloted Invention Studio in 2014, in partnership with MCPS and Parkland Middle School. The program quickly expanded to seven schools the following year. For the 2017-18 school year, nine cohorts are participating.

Students participate in six sessions at KID Museum, gaining technical skills in areas such as fabrication, analog circuits, mechanisms, and micro-controllers, while collaborating with their peers on creating an interactive, multi-disciplined “invention” of their own design. KID Museum Educators work with small groups, guiding them through the invention process.

Invent the Future Challenge

A new STEM initiative, the Invent the Future Challenge broadens access to innovative, hands-on learning experiences to middle school students across the DMV region.

The challenge, which is open to every middle school student from every school, asks students to identify a problem facing our environment, and then work collaboratively to design, develop, and prototype a solution to that problem. Participants are invited to take part in Invention Basecamp, a series of workshops that integrate hard skills like engineering, electronics, and coding, with social-emotional skills like collaboration and perseverance.

In a ground-breaking partnership with MCPS, and thanks to funding from MCPS, Montgomery County, and private partners, KID Museum is providing free admission to multi-visit Invention Basecamp workshops to students from low-income families, with the goal of expanding access to these high-impact learning experiences to those traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields.

A recent study by the Equality of Opportunity Project found that simply being exposed to an adult innovator as a child meant the difference for whether that child would grow up to be an innovator themselves. Be that inspiration for a child. We invite corporate volunteers to take part in our high-impact programming by becoming a mentor.

For more information regarding mentorship opportunities, please email volunteer@kid-museum.org.