by: Nicole MacMillan, M.Ed., GCDF
We were thrilled to see our very own 2016 Young Inventor Sadie McCallum be featured on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon’s “Fallonventions” segment. Sadie and her sister Claire invented the “Amazing Curb Climber” which is an invention that allows her to traverse challenging curbs in her wheelchair. Sadie is an inspiration to us and we are so proud of her accomplishments as well as the many other young inventors who created original inventions to overcome obstacles of their own through their participation in the Young Inventors’ Program (YIP) through the Academy of Applied Science.
The YIP Program just celebrated its 30th Anniversary of bringing invention into classrooms in New Hampshire and has doubled in size this 2016-2017 school year to include over 80 schools, now expanding into MA, VT, and Southern Maine. This YIP season will also bring the first High School students to the competition and Regional Invention Convention winners will once again have the opportunity to be considered for the National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Expo (NICEE) at the U.S. Patent Offices in Washington, D.C. this Spring.
We are also excited to announce that this year the Regional Invention Convention will be held at Southern New Hampshire University on April 2, 2017. The event is held “Shark Tank” style with our young inventors giving a 3 minute pitch about their idea and showcasing their proto-type and the planning and research behind their design to industry judges who give them feedback.
Northeast Regional schools like Sadie’s in Weare, NH can receive Invention kits at no cost—we are truly a “Robin Hood” program and seek to provide this curricular or afterschool enrichment STEM opportunity to kids at K-12 Schools. Our Invention New England Initiative, a partnership initiative between the educational technology and digital learning offices of the Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont Departments of Education offers online professional development opportunities for teachers that focus on the strategies and pedagogy involved in the instruction of this K-12 project-based program that emphasizes hands-on problem-solving and STEAM 21st Century Skills. Participating educators will learn how to implement an Invention Convention event and how to access Young Inventors’ Program Invention Kits (YIP Kits) that enable them to bring this program to their schools. Successful completion of the 7 week, asynchronous, online course will earn 35 professional development hours to teachers and prep them to have their very own Invention Convention or add an invention strand to their traditional science fair. Optional graduate credit can also be earned with additional requirements. Encourage your schools and teachers to check out the program if they seek to bring more STEM into the classroom.
MANUFACTURING COMPANIES interested in sponsoring kits for schools in your area should consider fostering this connection between industry and education as a workforce development option to introduce school-aged students to careers in manufacturing! For more information, please reach out to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NICOLE R. MACMILLAN, M.ED.
Nicole is currently the Director of the Young Inventors Program and is spearheading the Invention New England initiative for the Academy of Applied Science, a National STEM organization that administers apprenticeships and research competitions for the Army Educational Outreach Programs. Nicole has a long history of working with college students in University Career Services and she strongly believes in the power of experiential and project-based learning in the classroom. After working with many recruiting STEM industry companies and manufacturers, she understands the importance of introducing the basic principles of design thinking to young learners. Her interest in progressive education practices stems from her experience interfacing with the workforce community and understanding their needs, as well as her background connecting education and career goals for students. Nicole received her Masters in Education from the University of New Hampshire with a focus on experiential learning. She is certified in Training and Development and received her Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) training from the National Career Development Association. Her work with students spans over the past 15 years in a variety of roles teaching, facilitating and designing internship programs and counseling students about their academic and career decision-making. She has also taught courses online and in the classroom, including 8th grade Reading and Language Arts, as well as coursework at the college level. Most recently, she worked with STEM students teaching coursework to help them with their career decision-making and connecting them with jobs and internships. She was a driving force for instituting the EPIC (Elementary Program Introducing Computing) and was named 2015 Volunteer of the Year for her work with FIRST Robotics. She is committed to helping integrate hands-on STEM learning into the classroom. Contact: email@example.com