K-12 Instructional Activity Guide

Page 6 - Building a Model or Prototype

Completing Your Invention

Now that you have made a decision, you are ready to plan how you are going to complete your invention. By planning your steps you will save a lot of time and energy--and inventing will be lots more fun!

Use your imagination to picture your invention in your mind. Draw your invention in the space below, labeling all the parts as best you can at this point. Later on you will need to draw a very neat and complete drawing of your invention in your journal, but for now a rough sketch will be fine.

From the drawing you have made, you can now create either a model or a prototype of your invention. A model will represent your invention idea; a prototype will actually work. A model or prototype will make your invention idea more interesting and will show other people how it works.

First you will need to decide what materials to use to create your model or prototype. Try to think of materials that are easy to find and use, relatively inexpensive, sturdy, and that will make your invention as attractive as it can be.

List below all the materials you think you will need to make your model or prototype. This can be a list that grows and changes as you work on your model or prototype. Later this list can be transferred into you inventor's journal.

Now you are ready to begin making your model or prototype. Be sure to ask an adult to help you with any parts that may be dangerous for you to do alone (like using an electric-powered saw to cut wood). Remember to record all of your steps in your journal or log.

This part of the invention process may take you several hours, and you might not be pleased with your first try. That's OK -- inventors are the kind of people who never give up, and they don't let little problems stop them.

* Thomas Edison tried 10,000 times before he got his lightbulb to work!

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