A few weeks ago I got an email from a former colleague who was seeking fabric on behalf of his daughter, Jameson. Her second-grade class was studying inventors, and she had been assigned Isaac Singer, founder of the Singer Sewing Machine Company. The class was instructed to come up with an invention relating to their assigned inventor, and then to build the invention.
Jameson first identified a problem: she had banged her head on the school bus window while trying to catch up on her rest, and she wanted a product that could make the trip to-and-from school less hazardous and more restful. In a flash of (what I consider to be) pure brilliance, she came up with the Pillow Pop, a handy pillow with a suction cup that can be attached to the bus window (or car window, or airplane window) for a cushy, relaxing in-transit nap. She then produced her first prototype, and presented her invention to her class.
I absolutely love this, not only because I think the Pillow Pop is a really good idea (and I want one, especially for plane trips), but also because of how valuable the lesson is for kids. The project went beyond teaching the history of the inventors and prompted the class to exercise their own creativity, and then really follow it through to create the product, solving problems as they arose. SO important!
A few days ago I found these in my inbox:
How cool is that?? She may only be in the second grade, but I think Jameson has a bright future as an inventor and creative thinker.