WASHINGTON, DC. The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation
and LEGO Systems Inc.
are celebrating National Inventors Month by hosting a two-day collaborative build of an 8-foot-tall light bulb made entirely of LEGO bricks Aug. 1 and 2 at the Smithsonians National Museum of American History. The universal symbol of a big idea, the light bulb will be assembled by museum visitors together with the help of LEGO master builders. The activity aims to reinforce the connections between play and invention explored in the Lemelson Centers Invention at Play exhibition.
It has never been more important to develop a future generation of inventive thinkers and problem solvers, said Arthur Molella, director of the Lemelson Center. Lemelson Center research shows that curiosity, imagination and visual thinking are all key skills developed during play that can lead to invention and innovation. The Lemelson Center and LEGO Systems have joined together to foster these qualities in children.
Spark!Lab, the centers hands-on invention activity space, will feature special building and engineering-related activities throughout the weekend. The Lemelson Center has collaborated with LEGO Systems to develop activities that can be conducted in 29 of its brand retail stores across the country for children who will not be able to attend the Washington, D.C., event.
National Inventors Month takes place annually in August to celebrate invention and creativity and to positively promote the contributions inventors make to society. The celebration month was initiated in 1998 by the United Inventors Association of the USA, the Academy of Applied Science and Inventors Digest magazine.
The Lemelson Centers celebration of National Inventors Month continues Aug. 15 when the center hosts Ralph Baer, the father of the home video game, as part of its Innovative Lives series. Baer will re-enact the first time he played his game Odyssey with his partner Bill Harrison and then answer questions from the audience about his life and work. Online visitors to the centers Facebook page will have the opportunity to submit questions virtually. Visitors will be able to play classic and contemporary video games on the first floor of the museum following the presentation with Baer.