Imagine
Inspire
Innovate

third step. For example, before they started building their various airplanes, the Wright brothers, researched how different animals fly, wing shape, weight, balance, wing motion, and more!

  • Apply the Research

Just doing the research isn’t the end. Now you need to figure out what to do with the information. Write down a list of the important facts you learned in your Inventor’s Log. Consider each one as you think about your problem and possible solutions.
* What kind of materials should you use?
* Are there any hazards you hadn’t considered?

  • Is there an easier way to build your model?
  • Has anyone already tried and failed? What did you learn from them? * Was anyone successful in a related topic? Can you use their findings to help you? * Are there any important ideas to keep in mind as you design your invention?

Frank Epperson is a good example of someone who successfully applied research to his invention. In 1905, when he was 11 years old, Frank left flavored soda on his porch overnight. The next morning, he found it frozen, giving birth to the idea of a frozen, flavored treat. But, there weren't freezers in the home at the time, so Frank spent many years researching about how things freeze and doing lots of experiments. Eventually, he invented a machine and process by which he could quickly freeze flavored syrup to create the Popsicle.
Step 3 – Build a Model Young Inventors Showcase
Now that you have an idea and completed your research, you’re ready to begin building your first model. Before starting, try to find a place to set up a “workshop:” a safe space where you can keep all your materials and tools used to build and test your invention. Once you have your space, review all your research and begin with a sketch or drawing of your invention in your Inventor’s Log. You don’t have to be an artist and the drawing doesn’t have to be complicated. The important thing is that your sketch illustrates your idea clearly and that it is easy to understand.
Next, make a list of materials and tools that you need based on your sketch and get them. The materials don’t have to be new; you may be able to use things you have around your house, garage, or found in garage sales or maybe from relatives and friends. And remember, just because you can't find all the materials on your list does not mean your invention is doomed. Think about creative ways to use other materials to replace the ones you can’t get. Lots of complicated inventions started with very simple materials: for example, the very first Weed Eater was just a motor, an aluminum can, and fishing string.
There are two major types of models that are built for inventions — conceptual and functional:

    • Conceptual Models – not all models of inventions are meant to be working models. Some models are intended as a way of illustrating an idea. Often, this is done when an idea is too large or expensive to do in full-scale. Another reason may be that to test the invention would be unsafe, too expensive, or simply not possible in full-scale. For example, if your invention is a new type of roof that can withstand high winds, you probably won’t be able to build a full scale house with this roof.

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