Our Educators

Jim Carr | Beaubien Elementary School

"I’ve been involved with CSIC for eight or nine years now. Early on in my current position I was interested in facilitating a STEM club at my school. I didn’t have a specific program or curriculum to follow but I did some research. I learned about the Chicago Students Inventors Convention and the program they offered for teachers (and others). It sounded like a good place to start for what I wanted to do with a club. It has been a great opportunity for me and my students. The mentors we have worked with are incredibly talented and knowledgeable individuals. I have learned so much but the greatest benefit has been the experience for my students. They will ask if our mentor is coming to school on a given day. They look forward to sharing their latest developments on their projects and prototypes. Together we learn about the Inventors/Design cycle and then go through a process of identifying problems which our students choose on their own. The process of researching solutions for and designing a prototype to address a specific problem is a unique experience and results in authentic solutions. The enthusiasm and energy my students bring to our meetings is something I look forward to on the days we meet. Our Inventors Club is something I will continue facilitating as long as I’m teaching. I know it is a forum that gives children an authentic opportunity to learn about design, engineering and inventing in a fun, structured way."

Steve Dembo | Quest Academy

"There are so many places in the CSIC curriculum where students try to come up with fresh ideas, and places where they try to create things to solve problems, and other places where they research things they are studying. Invention Convention gives students a chance to gather all those skills and see how they all fit together. For many students, it's the first time they have had the opportunity to create something tangible that has real-world relevance. It's incredible just how powerful these experiences are to learners, and how much of an impact it has on them. For that reason, Invention Convention is the highlight of the year to so many students!"

Misty Richmond | James Ward Elementary School

"As a science teacher, I have shifted to help students move from learning about science concepts to figuring out science concepts. This leads to students who are always looking for a solution and ways to find out the answer to any sort of problem. With invention education, students will have a new way of thinking about problems and they will also be solution-oriented."

Cynthia Brawner | James Wadsworth STEM

"I'm a firm believer that kids can only know what they've been exposed to and you never know what children are capable of until you expose them to different options. When you hear of someone successful being interviewed, they usually say that someone back in elementary school or middle school exposed them to a new option or made a suggestion and they fell in love with it and now that's their life. That's my goal-- to inspire someone to tap into their potential and support them to come up with their own ideas, so that when they see a problem, they tackle it."

Sonia Torres | Jungman Elementary

"I think that this program allows the students to have more ownership in what they're learning. And because they come up with a problem they want to solve, it's something they're not going to give up on. They're naturally excited because it's their idea. We have students who will ask us 'when do we start Invention Convention?' I dont think there's anything better than having motivated students who don't see any limits.When we end the program, we don't end the thinking that goes with the invention process."