H/Young Inventors Program

Young Inventors Program

Be creative. Be an inventor. Turn your ideas into a reality.

A new way of preserving food, a wind-powered generator for a vehicle, a trick yo-yo.

These are all examples of inventions Da Vinci Science Center students created.

These young inventors saw a problem in their everyday lives and figured out a way to fix it. 

Do you have a young inventor that wants to make his or her ideas a reality?

Our Young Inventors program provides students in grades 5-8 the opportunity to explore the invention process through hands-on activities and presentations led by professional scientists and engineers.

Young Inventors is broken down into two different programs, Idea Lab and Patent Lab.

Young Inventors: Idea Lab

Take your creativity and problem solving to the next level! We’ll practice growing and developing our ideas to meet the patent standard of unique, unknown and unexpected. We’ll work with industry and academic experts, take a field trip to examine unusual technologies, meet special guest presenters, and so much more! Learn advanced building and making skills to turn your idea into a prototype. Idea Lab is a prerequisite for the Patent Lab program.

Details

  • $195 for seven sessions
  • Sessions are bi-weekly on Sunday afternoons
  • 1:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Session dates: Sept. 15, 29, Oct. 13, 27, Nov. 10, 24, Dec. 8

Concepts Focused on

  • Creativity
  • Problem-solving
  • Idea generation
  • Introduction to entrepreneurship

Young Inventors: Patent Lab

After you’ve honed your problem-solving skills in Idea Lab, develop your idea into something worthy of a U.S. patent! Students will be invited to participate in this program based on the ideas, work ethic, and maturity they showed in Idea Lab. They will learn basic patent-drafting skills via a mock invention. They then have the opportunity to apply those lessons to the patent draft of their own idea. The top presentation at the program’s showcase in April will receive pro bono assistance in filing an application for a provisional U.S. patent. Registrants must complete the Idea Lab program before enrolling.

Details:

  • $195 for seven sessions
  • Registration in this program is by invitation of instructor/mentors only
  • Registrants must complete the Idea Lab program before enrolling
  • Sessions are bi-weekly on Sunday afternoons
  • 1:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Session dates: Jan. 12, 26, Feb. 9, 23, March 8, 22, plus showcase event in mid-April.

Concepts Focused on:

  • Patent writing
  • Patent preparation

Meet the Instructor

Kate Heflin

Kate is a Museum Education Coordinator at the Da Vinci Science Center and oversees the Young Inventors program. She earned a J.D. from the George Mason University School of Law in 2001 and was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar in 2003. She has been retired from the practice of law for many years, having found her professional calling in informal education. While she is no longer a licensed attorney, Kate enjoys drawing on her training in patent and intellectual property law in developing and delivering the Young Inventors program.

Alumni News

Young Inventors is the successor to our popular Inventors Lab program.  The program’s students have been awarded six U.S. Patents and have two additional patent ideas under review.

Reva Gandhi

Reva Gandhi of Allentown, Pa., is the 2019 winner of the Most Patentable Invention award. Reva's idea involves a unique way of preserving fresh produce while minimizing packaging and food waste. Reva will receive pro bono assistance in filing a provisional U.S. patent application for her invention.​

Thomas Theiner

Thomas Theiner, the winner of the Science Center’s 2015 Inventors Lab showcase, has been granted U.S. Patent No. 10,232,275 for his improved competition or trick yo-yo.

Hayden Schmidt

The winner of the 2017 Inventors Lab showcase, Hayden Schmidt of Macungie, Pa., has been granted a U.S. Patent for his invention of a circuit breaker tagging system.

Vidhyasai Annem

Vidhyasai Annem, formerly of Allentown, has been granted a U.S. Patent for a multiple-section hair brush that keeps stray hair from falling to the floor.

Ambrose Cavalier

Ambrose Cavalier of Saylorsburg, Pa., earned U.S. Patent number 9,371,164 on June 21, 2016 at the age of 13 for an adjustable dispensing bottle cap, and U.S. Patent number 9,676,529 on June 13, 2017 for modifications to his design.

William Schopf

William Schopf of Whitehall, Pa., earned U.S. Patent number 8,274,169 on Sept. 25, 2012, at the age of 14 for a wind-powered generator for a vehicle.

Ryan Boulrice

Ryan Boulrice of Emmaus, Pa., is the 2018 winner of the Most Patentable Invention award. Ryan invented earbud headphones that utilize a new way to manage the connecting cords. Ryan will receive pro bono assistance in filing a provisional U.S. patent application for his invention.

Contact: Kate Heflin, 484-664-1002, Ext. 116                         Learn about Our Other Science Clubs 

building

P: 484.664.1002
D: 3145 Hamilton Blvd. Bypass, Allentown, PA 18103
H: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun. 12-5 p.m.
Get Directions