St. Philip School’s Thinking Caps Inspired by Inventionland


PITTSBURGH PA. – November 24, 2009 – A group of 3rd – 8th graders from St. Philip School took a trip to O’Hara Township recently to visit a strange place called Inventionland. The academically talented students from the “Thinking Caps” enrichment program were looking for some ideas to help them with their participation in the Invention Convention – they weren’t disappointed.

“We are hoping to get inspiration for the invention process,” said their teacher, who attended a teacher’s workshop in Inventionland last spring.

Known as “the world’s most creative workplace,” Inventionland is the creative design facility of Davison, a new product development firm.

“We (teachers) were just so amazed by it; I just had to bring my class.”

The teacher only told her students they were “going somewhere that helps people take their ideas and helps them become a reality.” She wanted them to be completely surprised; when the secret entrance opened to reveal Inventionland, they were.

“This is so cool!” exclaimed several youngsters. Their tour guides showed them all the themed offices where designers create the new products of tomorrow, including aboard a life-size pirate ship, inside a gigantic robot, waterfall-draped cavern, and slot-car ringed motor speedway.

Favorite spots along the tour included a huge green screen, in-house theater and sound studio. “It’s cool; they’re all moving,” commented a girl about dials on the unmanned sound board. Upon learning about creative projects being developed in Davison’s Entertainment Division, the students and adults were equally impressed.

“It’s a wonderful idea,” said the teacher. “We really need stuff like that to inspire the kids; that’s what our country really needs.”

To be a member of Thinking Caps a student has to make an invention for the Invention Convention or participate in Exploravision, a competition that requires them to take an idea that exists now and project it 20 years into the future, said the teacher, who is chairperson of this year’s Invention Convention.

“We’re also hoping they see that there are really interesting places right here in Pittsburgh and there are different types of jobs they could do,” said a parent supervisor of the group.

The teacher described the tour as “incredible” and said she was sure it would spark the imaginations of the youngsters, as well as the grown-ups.

“Our students and chaperones were so very impressed and inspired!”

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