Dear Caring Adult,

Welcome to Day 2 of MIT’s Full STEAM Ahead!

Today we will be making Invention Notebooks. If your child made a Problems to Solve list yesterday, that list can be attached, taped, or copied into the Invention Notebook.  There is a video to watch.

Here are some tips for you while working with your child on today’s activity:

  • Help them gather materials to make an Invention Notebook. Using recycled materials is a plus. You’ll see more detailed information on the Making an Invention Notebook page. You can also find an example of an Invention Notebook here
  • Materials for making an Invention Notebook can include:
    • Paper (graph, lined, or plain) construction paper, paperboard, scissors, tape, stapler, pens, and decorating supplies like crayons, markers, magazines (for cutting out pictures for decorating), tape, and glue sticks.
  • If you have a printer, printing out the Invention Notebook pages can be helpful in supplying graph paper for your child’s notebook. You can print a page or two, or the entire 10-page notebook. Blank paper can be helpful for drawing out ideas as well. 
  • Creating books can be a fun craft! There are many tutorials online for different kinds of bookmaking, and this activity may open up a whole new craft that your child enjoys. If your child gets into making different kinds of books, you can ask some questions to develop inventive thinking.
    • Why do you like this book design?
    • What did you do to construct this book?
    • How is this design different from another book design? 
    • If you were to design a new type of book, what would you do that is unique? 
  • Once their Invention Notebook is created or printed, add their Problems List to the notebook. Encourage them to look at their Problem List and think about the problems. Ask them if one of the problems really interests them. Then encourage them to use their notebook to write down and draw their thoughts about that problem. 
  • You can encourage your child to research the problem online (with your supervision, of course) and by asking people in the household about their experience with the problem. Encourage a call to grandparents or other family members to ask them about their experience with the problem. Through all this, encourage note-taking and picture drawing in their Invention Notebook!

Have a fun day creating the Invention Notebook!

Best regards,

Dr. Pascha

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