National Summer Teacher Institute on Innovation, STEM, and Intellectual Property

Who may apply?

Elementary, middle, or high school teachers who meet all of the criteria below:

  1. At least three years of prior teaching in one or more of the following STEM areas: Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Computational Sciences, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics; OR three years of prior teaching in one or more of the following areas of education: Vocational and Technical Education courses such as Mechanics, Woodworking, Welding, Rapid Prototyping, Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Computer-Aided Design, Design Thinking, Invention Education, Creative Thinking, Visualization, Intellectual Property or Entrepreneurship.
  2. A commitment in school year 2015-2016 to teach in one or more of the following STEM areas: Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Computational Sciences, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics; OR three years of prior teaching in one or more of the following areas of education: Vocational and Technical Education courses such as Mechanics, Woodworking, Welding, Rapid Prototyping, Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Computer-Aided Design, Design Thinking, Invention Education, Creative Thinking, Visualization, Intellectual Property or Entrepreneurship.
  3. At least three years of prior teaching OR three years of mentoring students in areas directly related to Invention, Innovation, Making, or Entrepreneurship such as: Making/Design-It-Yourself Projects, Invention Competitions, Robotics Programs, Science Fair Projects, Scouting, Inventors Club, 4-H, or other relevant educational mentoring experiences.
  4. A strong commitment to incorporating lesson plans, curricula and education resources and student activities related to “making”, inventing, or innovating as part of school year curriculum. In addition, participant teachers also agree to cooperate with reasonable efforts to share experiences and outcomes with other teachers at the institute and the USPTO.
  5. Approval from principal or school administrator. Attendance for the duration of the program.

When is the deadline for submitting applications?

The deadline for submitting applications is 12:00noon EST on Friday, May 22, 2015. Only applications submitted on line via the link or email address provided on the form will be accepted and reviewed for consideration.

Will everyone who applies be accepted for participation in the program?

No, spaces are limited. The selection process is based upon the responses on the application form and school and community demographics. Approximately fifty percent of the applicants will be selected from within a 50 mile radius of the local venue.

Will travel and lodging expenses be covered for teachers who are traveling more than 50 miles to the venue?

Yes, travel and lodging expenses will be covered for teachers who are selected for this program and are traveling more than 50 miles to the venue in accordance with Federal Travel Regulations and USPTO travel policy. *Housing will be provided in a campus residential hall on the campus of a Dallas university.

Will travel and lodging expenses be covered for teachers who live within 50 miles of the host venue (local teachers)?

No, teachers who are selected for this program and reside within a 50-mile radius of the venue will not be covered for travel and lodging costs. That said, daily parking near the venue will be provided without cost to all local travelers and all local travelers will have full access to all of the programming for the Institute.

Will local teachers (teachers residing within a 50 mile radius of the venue) have the option of staying at the host venue at their own expense?

Yes, local teachers selected for this program will have the option to stay at the venue for a fee. The housing will be located in a campus residential hall on the campus of a Dallas university

What is the USPTO’s goal in the selection process?

The USPTO’s goal is to provide opportunities for educators to explore the concepts of intellectual property creation, development, and protection as it relates to science, technology, engineering, mathematics, art, design, invention, and innovation. We hope to attract educators from a broad spectrum of academic disciplines and school districts across the country. Factors to be considered include subject areas taught, involvement in student mentoring, diversity in size of school district, school type (private/public, rural/urban), and socioeconomic backgrounds of student populations and communities. Teachers from all schools and communities are encouraged to apply and the USPTO hopes to have a wide variety of K-12 educators and interests represented in the cohort.

When will applicants be notified of their selection?

The USPTO will start notifying selected applicants via e-mail on or about May 29, 2015.

If I am selected to be a part of the Institute, when do I have to notify the USPTO of my acceptance?

The USPTO requires notification of acceptance as soon as possible after notification of acceptance in the Institute but no later than 12 noon EST on June 4, 2015.

Can I choose to participate less than the five days planned for the Institute?

No. Only teachers that can participate for the duration of the six-day (Sunday afternoon through Friday mid-day) Institute will be accepted to participate in this special program.

I did not receive an email indicating that my application was received, what do I do?

  1. Contact Education[at]uspto.gov if you do not receive notification that your application was received within 48-hours of submission.
  2. Print out a copy of the completed application and email it to us at education[at]uspto.gov.

What are the primary objectives of the National Summer Teacher Institute on Innovation, STEM, and Intellectual Property?

  1. Increase public knowledge about the significance of intellectual property (IP) and innovation, especially as it relates to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), art, design, and entrepreneurship;
  2. Help increase the number of students actively pursuing making, inventing, innovation, and STEM fields of study and careers;
  3. Offer tools and instructional strategies to encourage student learning about STEM, innovation, and IP.
  4. Highlight the accomplishments and contributions of inventors and the advances realized as a result of invention

What is the content scope of the Institute?

  1. Sessions at the Institute will cover a broad range of topics in Intellectual Property (patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets), STEM education, and innovation.
  2. The materials will help teachers incorporate making, inventing, and intellectual property creation and protection in STEM lesson plans and classroom instruction.
  3. Teachers will be equipped to challenge young innovators and entrepreneurs to make, improve, and repurpose new inventions from expired patents, inventions, and designs

Who will conduct the sessions?

Workshops will be conducted by USPTO experts in intellectual property (patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets), National Science Foundation-funded STEM researchers, representatives from federal agencies including such as the U.S. Department of Education, representatives from the Maker Education community, and distinguished faculty inventors from U.S. universities.

What are the learning outcomes of the Institute? What can I expect to learn by participating?

Educators will:

  1. Apply the principles of IP and innovation to help further motivate and engage students in authentic project-based learning in STEM.
  2. Experience how innovators invent new things, improve upon old ones, and apply the creative design and engineering process.
  3. Explore resources designed to encourage student inquiry using a strategy modeled on the research-based science writing heuristic to help meet Next Generation standards in science and engineering.
  4. Gain experience in methods to implement the “Science of Innovation” curriculum and materials in the classroom.
  5. Become part of a national network of education professionals at the cutting edge of integrating IP, innovation and STEM into the K-12 education curricula.