One of my students had a meeting with an engineer and an attorney this afternoon. Earlier in the year, she worked with two other students to design a product to solve a current problem as part of our Tools of Tomorrow project. When the presentations were “judged” in the fall, one of the engineers who came to see the projects eyed three projects he thought had potential. He has been mentoring these groups since then to help them protect their intellectual property and start making their ideas into actual products.
I saw my student after school, and I asked her how the meeting went. She excitedly told me that she and her group had filled out the paperwork to file for a copyright for their product ideaI asked her what the next steps were, and she said, “talking to my attorney next week about filing our trademark.” Once that’s done? They’ll start working on a design patent. I asked her if she was excited, and she told me she was scared. I told her she is doing amazing things. Just think about this: how many high school 10 graders even know what a copyright, trademark, or design patent actually is – let alone are working towards getting them? I reminded her that just because it’s scary doesn’t make it any less amazing. Because sometimes the most amazing things we do are the scariest.
And all of this stemmed from an idea as part of a school project. We tell our students our goal is to be authentic. How much more real world can it get than this?