Back to School with Invention Education

Erin Tochen

Join the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's (USPTO) Office of Education on August 29, 6-7:30 p.m. ET, to hear from Erin Tochen, Network Director at InventEd, an initiative of The Lemelson Foundation. InventEd is a global coalition of educators, program providers, funders, researchers, government agencies, and more who are building and advocating for invention education. Invention education is a student-centered approach that equips students to solve problems they care about. The instructional approach responds to the need for problem-solvers who draw on expertise from multiple disciplines, their cultural knowledge, and a diverse range of personal experiences to construct innovative solutions to real-world challenges.

Topics of this webinar will include:

  • Current research on failure, inventive identity, and the inventive mindset
  • How to support the ups, downs, and breakthrough moments of an invention education experience 
  • How educators can experience their own breakthrough moments in invention education

Dr. Adam Maltese from Indiana University and Dr. Joanna Garner from Old Dominion University will share their research on the inventive mindset, inventiveness, and failure. They will be joined by Alaina Rutledge from the National Inventors Hall of Fame and Ed Hernandez from Tustin High School, who will share their program and classroom experiences supporting breakthrough moments in invention education.

InventEd’s vision is to cultivate the inventive mindset that exists in everyone. This dedicated community, which includes the USPTO and National Inventors Hall of Fame, works together throughout the year to: learn from one another; share resources and progress; collectively identify and solve problems that advance the field; and increase engagement and understanding of invention education. InventEd brings the community together at an annual convening, conducts webinars, supports working groups, and builds awareness for invention education across the nation.

As Network Director, Erin leads strategy and operations, and oversees growth and engagement activities for more than 500 participants in the community. She has extensive experience supporting invention and innovation in education, philanthropy, and international development. Erin will be joined by Joanna Garner and Adam Maltese from the InventEd research group as well as practitioners from the InventEd community who will share their work exploring the inventive mindset and supporting breakthrough moments in invention education.

Join now

The USPTO hosts monthly professional development webinars for K-12 educators interested in integrating IP, innovation, and invention activities into their STEM/STEAM curriculum. Whether you’re a school administrator, teacher, student, parent, or caregiver, you are welcome to join us every month to hear from educators and learn about different types of IP, including patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. These sessions can help inspire a classroom of problem solvers and shape career choices. Sessions are held by webinar on the last Tuesday of each month from 6-7:30 p.m. ET.

Visit the USPTO's Office of Education page or email to learn more.

Accessibility accommodation


If you are an individual with a disability and would like to request a reasonable accommodation, please submit your request to the contact information listed above.

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This event is part of a series: K-12 education