Gary Carmichael, a Muldown Elementary and Whitefish Middle School teacher, was selected as one of 50 teachers nationwide to participate in the National Summer Teacher Institute on Innovation, STEM, and Intellectual Property in Tampa, Florida. The institute was sponsored by The United States Patent and Trademark Office in collaboration with the University of South Florida.
The central focus of this year’s Institute was on the creation and protection of intellectual property — this includes inventions, knowledge discovery, creative ideas, and expressions of the human mind that may have commercial value and are protectable under patent, trademark, copyright, or trade secret laws. Intellectual property is modeled as both a teaching and learning platform to help inspire and motivate student achievement.
During the conference teachers competed in teams to invent something to learn about patents, trademarks and intellectual property. Over the course of the week Carmichael and his two teammates worked on developing an invention, researching patents and trademarks, creating a prototype and drawings for a patent. Presenters during the week long course included a producer from the TV show “Shark Tank” and an inventor who made a pitch on the show.
This proved valuable as the final project included making a pitch of our invention before a panel of inventors, scientists and educators who followed up with questions, he said.
Carmichael enjoyed working with teachers from around the country and was pleasantly surprised when he and his teammates won the NSTI Intellectual Property Challenge Award for “Most Creative Invention.”