Education and Outreach

Science of Innovation

Science of Innovation by NBC Learn

Science of Innovation” is a multi-part series produced by NBC Learn, the educational arm of NBC News, in partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The series highlights innovations, but also explains the specific processes that helped bring them about, such as the need to imagine and invent, as well as the desire to improve existing innovations and even inspire others. The stories are told through the eyes of scientists and engineers funded by NSF, who have used patents and sometimes trademarks to protect their work. Innovation isn’t just about any one invention or inventor, it’s a process that anyone from a garage tinkerer to a federally funded scientist often takes in order to achieve an innovation.

“Science of Innovation” launched on February 11, 2013, the 165th birthday of Thomas Alva Edison, to underscore the fact that the spirit of innovation lives on in the United States today. The videos in this collection are available for free and aligned to state and national education standards.  NBC News correspondent Ann Curry narrated the original series.  On February 17, 2016, six new videos were released.  The latest collection focuses on advanced manufacturing and highlights how innovation has the potential to turn fundamental science and engineering ideas into significant societal and economic impacts.  The new collection is narrated by NBC News and MSNBC anchor Kate Snow. 

2016 National Summer Teacher Institute

NSTI participants

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will conduct its 3rd Annual National Summer Teacher Institute on Innovation, STEM, and Intellectual Property on July 17-22, 2016, in East Lansing, Michigan. This year’s program is offered in collaboration with Michigan State University (MSU) and will be hosted on the campus of MSU.

The program combines experiential training tools, practices, and project-based learning models to support elementary, middle, and high school teachers in incorporating concepts of making, inventing, and innovation into classroom instruction. The central focus of this year's Institute is on the creation and protection of intellectual property—this includes inventions, knowledge discovery, creative ideas, and expressions of the human mind that may have commercial value and are protectable under patent, trademark, copyright, or trade secret laws. Intellectual property will be modeled as both a teaching and learning platform to help inspire and motivate student achievement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, computer science, and other fields of study such as innovation and entrepreneurship.  

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