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Berkshire Museum Hosts JV InvenTeam

PITTSFIELD — This summer, the Berkshire Museum is partnering with the Lemelson-MIT Program in mentoring a JV InvenTeam at Monument Valley Regional Middle School in Great Barrington. Lemelson-MIT JV InvenTeams are comprised of students who hone their hands-on skills and enrich their STEM education through invention-based design activities.

Berkshire Museum educators are leading the classes based on materials and coursework provided by the Lemelson-MIT Program. Thirty-two fifth- and sixth-grade students are participating three days a week, July 5 through Aug. 3. The middle-schoolers at Monument Valley have completed a unit on designing and prototyping shoe soles, creating soles for a range of different activities. The students came up with ideas for their shoe soles, modeled them in clay, and cast them in urethane to complete their prototypes. They are now working on sound; they have dissected earbuds to learn about speakers, created their own electromagnets from common household objects, and built speakers out of paper plates.

The Lemelson-MIT Program continues to celebrate outstanding inventors and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention. JV InvenTeams are currently located in four states: Massachusetts, Texas, Oregon, and California.

Students participating in JV InvenTeams learn how to safely use tools and explore new materials to use in hands-on projects. Teams of students practice invention-based design activities and apply their learned skills to create useful and unique projects. They build confidence and curiosity around STEM areas including structures, electricity, materials, and robotics.

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