The Lemelson-MIT Invention Index found that teens believe they have developed in school some of the critical skills that will be needed to address these problems. Seventy seven percent believe they have learned problem-solving skills well while in school. They also feel prepared to work in teams (72 percent), think creatively (71 percent) and lead others (61 percent).
By contrast, only 32 percent of teens said they feel they learned to budget money while in school. Also, a February 2005 report by Achieve, Inc. found that 55 percent of college instructors were dissatisfied with their students’ abilities to apply what they learn to problem solving.
Most disquieting is that only nine percent of respondents chose science and only eight percent chose business as their top career choices.
“The relative lack of interest in science and technology-oriented fields is alarming,” Flemings said.
He also opined that while teens see good results in the future from inventions, few say they will try to create these inventions.
Hmm, I wonder if Flemings’ survey results reflect the extent to which our vision of education emphasizes consuming something rather than inventing something useful.
The Lemelson-MIT program offers grants for InvenTeams and other programs to encourage creative K-12 students in math, science and technologies. They also offer a page of links to a profile of an inventor of the week, an invention guide, and much more of possible interest to potential teen inventors.