Invention at Play

November 21, 2008 – November 27, 2011

National Museum of American History
14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

1st Floor, West Wing, Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Hall of Invention Floor Plan

What do the inventors behind Post-it Notes, robotic ants, Kevlar, and the telephone have in common with children? Play! Created especially for families, this exhibition focuses on the similarities between the ways children and adults play and the creative skills and processes used by inventors. Through interactive and engaging activities, it encourages various playful habits of mind that underlie invention: curiosity, imagination, visual thinking, model building, and problem solving. It introduces inventors and innovators through compelling personal stories, photos, and artifacts. It even provides a chance to try learning to windsurf on the Sailboard Simulator, which is based on a design by sailboard inventor Newman Darby. This is the first exhibition in the new Lemelson Hall of Invention.