Step 1: It’s About Design
Inventors spend many hours designing and creating new items or making innovative improvements to the design of items. In order to protect their ideas or “intellectual property” they may apply for a patent. The U.S. Patent Office has been granting inventors of ideas, devices, designs and processes an award called a patent. A patent will protect the inventor from anyone being able to make, sell or take their original ideas for 20 years. The protection guaranteed by the patent is included in the Constitution of the United States (Article 1, Section 8) and has been in place over 200 years. Help your students learn more about some inventors and their inventions, as they participate in some activities to help them understand the patent process.
Step 2: (Orange Sheet)
Now that you’ve completed Step 1 of your final project you can begin to work on Step 2. Step 2 requires you to form a group of 2 – 4 people. After forming your group you will begin to work on the following components:
- With your group you are going to design a product. You can create a brand new product or you can choose a product that exists and make a significant improvement on it (the improvement must be an original idea).
- You should outline the features of your product:
- What is its purpose?
- What does it do? How does it do this?
- Is there a need for your product?
- Does anything like this already exist on the market? Where? How much does it cost? What makes your product different from your competitors? What do they currently charge for the product?
- What would you charge for your product? Why?
- Who would your target audience (the people you want to purchase it) be?