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Science Webinar

Real-World Problem Solving: How Invention Education Drives Student Learning

Tue., July 19, 2022, 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. ET
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Hear from student inventors about their experiences and learn from K-12 teachers about how invention education enhances learning, opens minds and possibilities, and prepares students for the jobs of the future.

A prosthetic arm, a smart cup for seniors with dysphagia, and adaptive nail clippers for people managing diabetes…these were just some of the products created by our panel of student inventors to solve problems in their communities.

Katia Avila
Computer Science Major, University of California, Santa Cruz
Katia was a technical lead of the 2018 Garey High School Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam. With no prior engineering knowledge, she led the production of an Oxygen Saturation Sensor for the InvenTeam’s project, Heart & Sole. Her experiences as a low-income Latina motivated her to join the InvenTeam and learn how to use technology to help her community. She now works as a Microsoft Software Engineering Intern while pursuing a Computer Engineering degree at the University of California, Santa Cruz. At UCSC, she found a passion for education and aims to continue supporting her community as a professor in engineering.
Evelyn Casas
Public Health Major, University of California, Irvine
Evelyn Casas was part of the Garey High School InvenTeam in 2018 and served as one of the technical leads. She is now currently attending the University of California Irvine majoring in Public Health Policy and minoring in Global Sustainability and Health Informatics. Evelyn aspires to attend PA school after graduation and help low-income communities through her education in medicine. She is now doing a summer internship at the University of Michigan, focused on indigenous equity.
Lesly Rojas
Electrical & Computer Engineering Major, Oregon State University
Lesly Rojas is an incoming second year at Oregon State University majoring in Electrical and Computer Engineering. She was first introduced to invention education in seventh grade when she joined the Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) club. Her time at MESA sparked an interest in human centered design that ultimately became her favorite part about being an inventor. Since then, she has worked on an adaptive cup for individuals with dysphagia as part of the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam which they presented at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Over the years she has led and worked on different human-centered design projects, the most recent focusing on surgical instrumentation as a research fellow in the REU: Robotics in the World program hosted by the National Science Foundation.
Antonio Gamboa
Science Teacher, Garey High School, Pomona, Calif.
Antonio Gamboa is a veteran high school educator who fosters creativity, engineering, discovery, and invention. His goal is to empower students with knowledge and a clear understanding that anyone can learn and apply the principles of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM). As a learner, Antonio regularly attends summer research opportunities at prestigious universities. Antonio challenges students to seek out solutions to real community-based problems. His leadership has allowed students to become patent pending inventors and to earn and receive the highest honors at several national, state, and local STEM competitions, in addition to internships and summer programs.
Brian Martin
STEM Teacher, Apple Valley Middle School, Rosemount-Eagan-Apple Valley School District, Minn.
Brian is a Fab Lab teacher and STEM Coordinator at Valley Middle School of STEM a 6-8 STEM magnet school in Apple Valley, Minn. He is currently partnering with STEM Innovator from the University of Iowa to implement a K-12 invention education pathway of schools in the Apple Valley school district. He was a recipient of a 2020 Lemelson-MIT Excite Award.
Misty Richmond
Science Educator, James Ward Elementary, Chicago Public Schools
Misty Richmond has spent the past 16 years as a science educator in the Chicago Public School district. She has taught middle school science most of her career and enjoys working with fellow educators through mentoring and professional learning. While pursuing her National Board Certificate in science, Misty learned the importance of self-reflection and building rapport with students which she infuses in her classroom today. One of the hallmarks of the Next Generation Science Standards is to help students move from “learning about” to “figuring out” science ideas. Misty teaches science through a facilitator lens where students take ownership of their learning of science ideas by asking questions and developing investigation ideas to find the answers to these questions. These skills serve students well when it comes to invention education. Misty was recently named an Illinois Finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) and a Region 7 Director for the Illinois Science Teaching Association (ISTA).
David Coronado
Senior Program Officer, The Lemelson Foundation
David is the founder of InventEd, an initiative of the Lemelson Foundation focused on building a coalition to support K-12 Invention Education. He has worked at Harvey Mudd College and served as the Executive Director of Oregon MESA at Portland State University. As the President of the MESA USA organization, he supported programs for more than 49,000 K-16 students. David is the chair emeritus of the national STEM Funder’s Network and has served on numerous local and national boards.
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