Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cadette MEdia Badge: Inventions

As discussed in the MEdia Journey social media is a great avenue for marketing and advertising.  The world of social media has increased the possibility of getting an invention or new product into the hands of a very captive audience.  This past week we talked about inventions and what it takes to create a great new concept, system or product.  First, we reviewed the top ten inventions ever made. Then we talked about what makes an invention successful and some of the pitfalls that lead to failure. Next, we talked about whether it was important to patent an invention.  In an upcoming field trip we will visit a patent attorney at his office where he will share the patent process with the girls.

For leaders it is hard to believe that You Tube, Facebook, Pinterest and Etsy to name a few can have such a large impact on advertising.  This new form of communication has allowed some people and products to gain instant notoriety.  Ask the girls what social media tools are available to advertise and why some might be better than others.
We watched an episode of "Shark Tank" which really helped the girls understand that new inventions and products require capital or start-up money and how to "pitch" your product.
Send a Ball - Female Sisters that began sending balls in the mail.

What is the definition of an invention?
Webster Dictionary:  An “original”device or process
Invention is the creation of a NEW device, process or product

We talked about a girl their age who started a million dollar company:

Inventor your age:
Maddie Bradshaw a 5th grader couldn’t find any fun magnets to decorate her locker.   Her uncle gave her a bag of bottle caps and she got an idea to glue a picture inside one and attach a magnet.  Soon friends wanted them for their lockers.  Next she made necklaces for her friends for Birthday gifts.  
Maddie will soon be going to college and she is a millionaire. She is the owner, along with her younger sister Margot and her mom, of the company M3 Girl Designs.  They sell many Snap Caps® products across the United States to young girls who want to have some fun.  Snap Caps® can be worn as necklaces, bracelets, in hairpins, on ribbons and  picture frames. Now that Maddie is older, she has designed a new line of jewelry for teenaged girls called Spark of Life™.

What I love about Maddie is that she believes in sharing her success with others. She has written a book called “You Can Start a Business. Too!”. Who knows, maybe you have an idea percolating away in your brain and the book can help you to become a millionaire!

What does “Creating” an invention involve?
Identifying Problems
Problem Solving
Critical Thinking
Following a Process

Top 10 inventions:
Telephone  Computers
Cotton gin
Steam Engine
Sewing Machine
Light Bulb

Top 10 ways you can fail as an inventor:  
Fail to record your inventing progress in a journal or log book
You can’t earn money from an “idea” you must create a prototype and market your product.
Avoid hiring one company to promote or build your invention
Do an “Invention Assessment” determine the likelihood it will succeed.  Don’t sell your house to invest in a dream.  
Don’t reveal your invention too soon
Conduct a search for prior art, determine whether someone has developed your idea.
Patent vs Not to Patent - some argue patents take too much time & are too expensive & are rarely profitable  ex. of successful product without a patent: Rubik’s Cube
Avoiding bad patents.  This legal document protects your idea, the better the patent documentation the more protection your patent will produce.
Often times inventors can be a little quirky.  Appearance and professionalism is important in promoting your invention
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket:  when trying to sell or license your invention you should select at least 20-30 buyers.Important Female Inventors

We also talked about how important research can be you don't want to spend time and money on an invention that is already being marketed.  I once thought I had created a great tool for pulling elastic through a hem.  I used a piccolo tuning rod and attached a safety pin and then ran the safety pin through the elastic.  I have used this for years and it is super helpful so my daughters told me I should market it.  

A quick internet search led to disappointment when I found out the product already exists:
It is called a Bodkin

I created some FUN Trivia Sheets as handouts:
Toy Invention Mix & Match
Inventors Trivia Fun
If you would like a copy of my notes to help guide your discussion CLICK HERE

Finally I showed the girls my invention I created:
The ALL in one Washer/Dryer which saves space, time and money.  Once the wash cycle is complete the washer empties and then the dryer turns on.  (Why hasn't this been invented?)

The girls then had to create their own invention.  They were given a scratch sheet of paper for their rough draft and a shiny brochure piece of paper for their final project.  They used markers and sharpies to complete this project.  We hope to show these to the patent attorney for his opinion on their success.
The girls created the following:

Sneakers that released bubbles as you walk
Beds created into objects like dinosaurs and unicorns
An assembly line of cooking items that slice, blend and cook foods
A high Heel shoe that you can flatten the heel so your shoe can be worn as flats or as an heel

*** If for any reason you are unable to view or download my notes and trivia, simply e-mail me at and I will send the files via e-mail

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