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Patents and Trademarks: Inventing for Educators

The Ryan-Matura Library is a United States Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Using Patents in Your Research

Need to know?

STEM curriculum ♦ Biographies ♦ Local & national history ♦ Culture & diversity

♦  Intellectual Property

Literature for Students

Creative Thinking

Design Thinking Resources & Curriculum

K-12 Standards for teaching "design thinking" and engineering processes are contained in the Next Generation Science Standards.

Next Generation Science Standards: For States, By States (2013). National Academies Press (free download).

Guide to Implementing the Next Generation Science Standards (2015). National Academies Press (free download).

Literacy for Science: Exploring the Intersection of the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core for ELA Standards (2014). National Academies Press (free download).

Developing Assessments for the Next Generation Science Standards (2014). National Academies Press (free download).

"Kid-Ventions with the U.S. Patent Library" by Barbara J. Hampton, in How to STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education in Libraries, edited byVera Gubnitskaia and Carol Smallwood.  (2013). Scarecrow Press.

IP for Educators in Journal Databases

In addition to books on inventors and inventing, you may find useful information in journal articles about specific individuals and patents, as well as lesson plans and classroom activities to inspire creativity. 

Among Sacred Heart University's "Best Bets" subscription journal databases for this information, consider:

Academic Search Premier

Academic OneFile


Education Research Complete [EBSCO]

Education Reference Complete [Gale-Cengage]


History Reference Center

Historical Abstracts

Library, Information Science, and Technology Abstracts

Professional Development Collection

Teacher Reference Center

Also, consider online resources and ebooks available through iConn at school and public libraries.

Some useful initial SUBJECT search terms: invention*, inventor*,  patent*, creativity, intellectual property,technological innovations.

Standards, Learning Activities, & Assessments

Curricular requirements for engineering and design thinking skills are contained in the Next Generation Science Standards.

Connecticut State Department of Education: Science - policies and recommendations for implementation of Next Generation Science Standards.

Journal of engineering education (Washington, D.C.)  (1069-4730)    Look up Article    More full text options

from 01/01/2000 to present in Education Research Complete


International journal of technology and design education  (0957-7572)    Look up Article    More full text options

from 01/01/1997 to 1 year ago in Education Research Complete
from 01/01/2003 to 1 year ago in Academic Search Premier


 Journal of technology education  (1045-1064)    Look up Article    More full text options

from 1989 to present in Directory of Open Access Journals

PTRC Resources for K-12

USPTO Resources for Kids & Educators - a wealth of games, fun facts, and inspiring videos of today's newest inventors, plus teacher resources and conferences.

Engineering Education Websites

International Technology and Engineering Educators Association - professional association

Engineer Girl (National Academy of Engineering) - secondary technology & engineering educators; promotes technological literacy for all by supporting the teaching of technology and engineering

Design Squad Nation (PBS) - Parents & educators resources on companion website for television series.

NASA for Kids: Introduction to Engineering (National Geographic) 

Engineering is Elementary (Museum of Science, Boston) -  research-based, teacher-tested curriculum materials for schools and out-of-school time programs

Pre-College Outreach (American Society of Civil Engineers) - materials for K-12 students, clubs, mentoring

DiscoverEresources of educators & students; sponsor of national Engineers Week (2016: 21-27 February -

Lemelson-MIT Program - inventor archive, inventor handbook, videos, & more. 

Exploratorium - science museum with publications, videos, & online resources for educators