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Fridley Public Schools

Fridley Middle School (FMS) 6th grade students demonstrated their creativity and innovative ideas at the annual Inventors Fair held on May 20, 2021. The interdisciplinary Inventors Fair capstone 6th grade project allows students to explore the design process and complete a unique invention from start to finish.

“Our students learned all the steps of the invention and innovation process, and were able to use their creativity to address a problem or topic of interest,” said FMS math and science teacher Jessica Rifley. 

Students began the project by brainstorming, collaborating, and completing hands-on and problem-solving activities. Students then identified their own problem or area of interest, researched their topic, and created inventions to solve the issue at hand.

The Inventors Fair project features an inquiry-led approach, which is at the center of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) curriculum framework. Students self-direct the design process, which further develops their critical thinking skills and understanding of themselves as learners. By working on the  project in their science and language and literatures classes, the experience becomes interdisciplinary.

Students persevered through challenges that the school year presented, while balancing hybrid and distance learning with in-person school work. According to Rifley, the project allowed students to gain more independence, self-management and technology skills to complete their one-of-a-kind inventions.

“Despite the challenges, our students did amazing work,” said Rifley. “All our 6th graders should be proud of what they accomplished. They put so much effort into brainstorming, researching, designing, and completing the writing portions of the project.”