Christine Lawlor-King

Company: Connecticut Invention Convention

Location: Hartford

Company/organization description

The Connecticut Invention Convention develops inventors/entrepreneurs in grades K-12! Throughout the year, teachers use our curriculum to develop creative problem-solving and critical thinking skills through invention and entrepreneurship. This culminates in the final competition event where we recognize students with awards and prizes for their hard work. Our mission: provide CT students with the critical-thinking and creative problem solving skills they will need for the rest of their lives.

How do you train, educate or prepare entrepreneurs

I work with children as young as kindergarten to develop their entrepreneurial spirit. I visit CT classrooms to offer advice to our young inventors. I train our educators to develop their own entrepreneurial and innovative mindset. When educators are excited about invention/entrepreneurship, they can inspire their students. Although I work internationally to train educators on how to teach invention/entrepreneurship, I continue to mentor CT educators and inventors!

What impact did your program have in 2020?

The pandemic left many invention education programs without an in-person event. We could have canceled the events, but our young inventors needed the positivity that surrounds showing off their new products to judges. I helped numerous programs design virtual events, while planning the virtual CT State Finals event. With the largest Invention Convention event in the world, 600 young inventors from CT were able to display their products. Some received patents, some received national attention.

Nominator Justification

Christine Lawlor-King exemplifies an educator who is both pioneering innovation & entrepreneurship learning in the classroom, and a visionary in her own right. She created the first district-wide K-12 STEM program in CT; was the catalyst for implementing invention education curriculum in 500+ CT schools; established Invention Convention Worldwide (annually brings innovation & entrepreneurship teaching to 100k+ students globally); and now with Lemelson-MIT establishing like programs in MA & CA.

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