Real "American Idols"

Most Americans can name and recognize six American Idol television show winners before they could these six individuals:

Mark Zuckerberg

Sergey Brin

Larry Page

Steve Chen

Chad Hurley

Jawed Karim

What do these thirty-something men have in common? They invented the ways we are living our lives online. Zuckerberg founded Facebook, Brin and Page founded […]


Serendipitous Inventions Are No Accident

Let’s set something straight for young people. Serendipitous inventions are not for the most part accidents. There is a lot more to the ingenuity behind their development.

In schools we might tell students about the accidental discovery of penicillin. But, while the effects were in fact fortuitously discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming, it wasn’t […]


President Obama's State of the Union 2011

About the first thirty minutes of President Obama’s State of the Union Speech tonight was dedicated to innovation, education, and infrastructure.

I don’t take lightly how the president interwove these themes with education and our schools. I especially noted this reference to the teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM): “And over the next […]


The Team Approach

I’m writing this post for the first time from my new iPad. This device and Harry Roman’s post about Edison and R&D got me thinking about the process of invention and how its changed over the past century.

During Edison’s era, he made innovation happen in a unique way for that time. Having people of […]


William Kamkwamba

The first time I heard of William Kamkwamba was when he appeared on the Daily Show back in October 2009, shortly after his book The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind was published. To hear even a brief part of the story about how William had constructed a wind powered turbine in his village in Malawi […]


Project Management

The processes of invention and project management are very similar, and both are very important to the world of business. An inventor manages a complex project or process involving manpower, money, resources, and time schedules, just like an engineer would do when they create a new product or design and construct a new building or […]


No Gadget Too Complicated

In July 2009, four students from High Point Regional High School earned first place in the United States at the Technology Student Association (TSA) National Conference in Denver for their invention to prevent the formation of bed sores in hospital patients. While the next step taken most student groups after competitions is to store the […]


Temple Grandin

Until recently, I had never heard of Dr. Temple Grandin, but a friend and colleague who had seen the HBO movie about her encouraged me to see it. I was intrigued by the idea of the person who thinks in pictures and was credited with revolutionizing an entire industry with her ingenious designs. I also […]


Think Like a Kindergartner

One of the keys to developing one’s ingenuity is to give your mind the opportunity to think creatively and invoke the good ole’ KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) concept, or just think like a kindergartner.

The other day I took my five-year-old son over to basketball practice, which happens to take place at the school […]