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  Guides and other materials that can be used by teachers or by kids doing research.

At-Home Activity Sheet
Working with your family or a group of friends, find an invention you would like to improve. Brainstorm ways you could reinvent the object and solve the problem in a better, more effective, or easier way. Record your ideas on this sheet. Take a picture or make a video of yourself (or, better yet, your group) with the original invention and your description of how you would make it better. With the help of a parent, teacher, or other adult, send your photo or video to us:

Everyone who submits a photo or video will receive a Spark!Lab patent!

pencil icon Inventor's Notebook
Inventors use lab notebooks to write down their ideas, record their observations, and document the results of their tests and experiments. They write down things that work (and don't work), sketch their ideas, and make notes about their invention process. This notebook will help you document the things you do and learn in Spark!Lab. It also includes ideas for inventing at home.
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Podcast Listening Guide
Prototype Online: Inventive Voices is a podcast series from the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center that reveals the stories behind the invention—motivations, successes, and disappointments—and highlights the persevering spirit shared by all who call themselves “inventor.” These podcasts can help students gain a broader understanding of invention and inventors, and can lead to a greater understanding of invention’s important role in American history and culture. This listening guide can provide a starting point for using and discussing any podcast in the Prototype Online series. For more information about the podcast, series, please visit

lightbulb logo Frequently Asked Questions
Download this document for further information on Spark!Lab.