Inventing Matters: Cure It! Activities

Share stories of student inventors who have created solutions to address global public health needs and provide an opportunity for hands-on experimentation.

Grades 6-12 2 hr Resource by:

Today we announce the 2020 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize winners who are recognized for their technology-based inventions as graduate students or undergraduate teams in one of four categories: “Use it!,” “Move it!,” “Eat it!,” and “Cure it!” The national effort is sponsored by The Lemelson Foundation. “We congratulate this year’s winners for their outstanding work tackling global problems in order to improve lives around the world,” said Carol Dahl, executive director at The Lemelson Foundation. “These students are an inspiring example of how young minds across the country can solve problems through invention.”

Prize winners and the young inventors we have worked with from high schools across the U.S. cite the importance of having opportunities for learning the unique ways inventors find and solve problems. These opportunities (referred to as ‘invention education’) develop human skills needed for the workforce and prepare young people to be creative problem solvers in their communities and beyond. We invite you to explore the examples of young inventors on this site and to get started on the pathway to inventing by picking an activity in whatever category fits your personal interest and passion.

Have fun inventing!

2020 “Cure it!” Lemelson-MIT Student Prize Undergraduate Team Winner

Augeo: Siddharth Iyer, Jasmine Hu, Mathias Insley, Diane Lee, and Eric Lin, Johns Hopkins University. A new material that can quickly expand to many times its size, resulting in an inexpensive and simple way to permanently stop a patient from bleeding internally.

2020 “Cure it!” Lemelson-MIT Student Prize Graduate Winner

Shriya Srinivasan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The cutaneous mechanoneural interface (CMI), a new type of surgical process for amputations that would allow a person to sense what their prosthesis feels.

Grades 6 – 12

We recommend you read the Letter to Grades 6-12 Students first. You don’t need to work through the activities in order. Every category includes (1) explorations of inventions created by Lemelson-MIT Student Prize winners and InvenTeam grant recipients, (2) a hands-on activity, and (3) brainstorming of your own invention projects. Remember, inventing is just plain fun! We hope you’ll have lots of fun this week!

Explore “Cure it!” Inventions

In this activity, you will learn about some examples of the “Cure it!” inventions that develop and utilize innovative technology to help people.

Designing a Four-String Musical Instrument

In this activity, you will work on a “Cure it!” invention project by creating your own musical instruments using common materials found at home. Music can certainly help cure us.

Think Like an Inventor

Now that you have learned about inventors and the invention process, how about doing some problem solving? This activity introduces you to a technique called SCAMPER. You can use the SCAMPER guide to brainstorm your ideas.


Don’t forget that you can share your invention ideas using the Full STEAM Ahead forums or on social media using #MITFullSTEAM (with parent permission).


Share Your Invention!