The Innovative Spirit

17 Inventions That Could Make Going Back to School a Little Bit Easier

From an aromatic alarm clock to a school bus locator system, these patented products could help students and parents with the transition

Visitors apply aerodynamic principles to design their own virtual fighter jets and then race against other in a high-speed flying competition.

A Next Gen Museum Show Takes Aim at Inspiring Next Gen Ingenuity

Curators are betting high-tech playtime will turn today’s kids into tomorrow’s engineering visionaries


The Innovative Spirit

Teenage Inventor Alexis Lewis Thinks That Kids Have the Solutions to the World's Problems

With a patent to her name and more likely on the way, the 15-year-old has made it her mission to inspire young innovators

The Bay Area sees stark geographical divides between the rich and the poor

These Maps Help Explain the Numerous, Complicated Factors Behind Income Inequality

Education, housing costs and even internet access are all a part of the difficult public policy matter

Prototyping is a vital part of Stanford courses. Students build physical and digital products and test them.

How Are Universities Grooming the Next Great Innovators?

Design and entrepreneurship courses at Stanford and other institutions are fundamentally changing higher education

The founders of NecropSynth use SketchUp Pro to design the external shell of a 3D printed model of a rat.

The Innovative Spirit

How a Cheap Plastic Rat Could Change Biology Class

With a couple of 3D printers, a husband and wife team is building accurate replicas of rats that could one day eliminate the need for dissection specimens

Smithsonian geologist Elizabeth Cottrell (right) helps undergraduate intern Kellie Wall examine a sample of Earth’s interior. Cottrell co-directs Natural History Research Experiences, a program funded by the National Science Foundation that trains 18 students every summer.


Hey Scientist, Who Are You Mentoring this Summer?

The director of education at the National Museum of Natural History delivers a clarion call to all scientists: Be a Mentor. Raise Up the Next Generation

Seven Inspiring Innovations In Education From Around the Globe

American schools, start taking notes! There may be some things to learn from these successful programs

BioTech students prepare a solution for orchids.

Can Young Botanists at a Magnet School Play a Vital Role in Protecting an Urban Ecosystem?

Miami's BioTech, the country's first ever botany-focused magnet high school, is teaching kids real-world plant science

25 Millennials Just Crossed the United States By Rail Hoping to Leave Their Marks in Cities Along the Way

Young leaders take a 10-day whistle-stop tour with on-train seminars and service projects in communities across the nation

The Shoe That Grows can be adjusted in three places: the front, sides and back.

Finally, A Shoe That Grows With a Kid

The Idaho-based nonprofit Because International makes shoes that can grow up to five sizes and last at least five years

Using dirt containing bacteria that generate electricity, kids can build their own mud batteries.

This Week in Crowdfunding

A Kit to Build Your Own Mud Battery and Other Wild Ideas That Just Got Funded

Also, a campaign to build a Little Free Museum

Azar Nafisi is the recipient of the 2015 Benjamin Franklin Creativity Laureate in the Humanities and Public Service.

Azar Nafisi on Why the Arts and Humanities Are Critical to the American Vision

The author of "Reading Lolita in Tehran" and recipient of a Smithsonian award, discusses why in education art matters as much as science

Christopher Gray, one of the Scholly founders, pitches on Shark Tank.

Smart Startup

An App Matches Students with College Scholarships They Can Use

More than $100 million in scholarships go unclaimed every year. Scholly is connecting students with these and other funds

This Week in Crowdfunding

A Moon Landing in Virtual Reality, Bookniture and Other Wild Ideas That Just Got Funded

Could a new material that uses static charge to stick to any surface spell doom for Post-it notes?

A student uses the Skill Champ app, which emphasizes visual learning.

Smart Startup

These Apps Help Kids With Autism Learn Basic Skills

Infiniteach, a Chicago startup, is building learning tools for the one in 68 children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders today

A Prado visitor touches a 3-D printed replica of a contemporaneous copy of the "Mona Lisa."

Please Touch the Art: 3-D Printing Helps Visually Impaired Appreciate Paintings

The new "Touching the Prado" exhibit in Madrid showcases 3-D replicas of paintings, so blind visitors can feel key works of art

This robot, made of drinking straws, teaches kids how to hack.

This Week in Crowdfunding

A Kit to Make Robots Out of Drinking Straws and Other Wild Ideas That Just Got Funded

Perhaps a three-dimensional paper mount of an animal is just what your living room needs

(Clockwise from top left) Katrin Macmillan, Ashutosh Saxena, Richard Lunt and Horace Luke are hard at work on exciting new projects.

Eight Innovators to Watch in 2015

From food science and robotics to solar tech and sustainable architecture, these folks are poised to do big things

Kids in a small Nigerian village line up to learn at the Hello Hub.

How Do Kids Learn Where There Are No Teachers? It May Take a Village...Computer

A non-profit called Projects for All has a plan for educating children without schools: Turn them loose on outdoor computer kiosks in their community

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