Skip to main content

Invention Process

Thomas Edison: The "Invention Process" in Action

Culminating Activity

Using the information you have gathered throughout this web site you will be inventing a product following Edison's model.


  • The class will be divided into groups of three to six students
  • Each group will be creating a technological advancement for today’s society.
  • Each group member will be responsible for a specific task in the research and development of a product that you think there is a need for.

Assessment 1

Brainstorm as a group and come up with possible inventions that would make your lives easier, safer, or more enjoyable.

Assessment 2

Write a short response for each question. It will be the responsibility of ALL group members to complete all of the following questions.


  • What need will your invention fill?
  • Why would your local community and the State of New Jersey be a beneficial place to produce and market your product?

Be sure to consider:

  1. Population
  2. Energy Resources
  3. Geographic Features
  4. Land
  5. Availability of Labor

Assessment 3

After your group has decided on what you are going to make and where, delegate each of the following questions and write short responses.


A. Two members will be responsible for answering the questions...

  • Develop the product
    • How will you make it?
  • Test the product
    • Will it work? Is it realistic? How do you know this?
  • Improve the product
    • After it has been sold, how could it be made better?

B. Two members will be responsible for answering the question...

  • File for the Patent
    • What procedures will you have to follow to get a Patent?

Refer to the cover sheet from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office at

Be sure to include a drawing and description of your invention with the cover sheet.


C. Two members will be responsible for answering the questions...

  • Produce the product
    • What will you need to produce the product?
    • Where will you produce it and why will you produce it there?
  • Decide how to sell the product
    • Will you sell your product to a distributor or directly? Why?
  • Advertising
    • Will you advertise nationally or on a state level and in what areas will you focus advertising on a local level?

Assessment 4

When your group has completed parts 1, 2, and 3 your will group will prepare a typed portfolio outlining all of your decisions and explaining the methodology you chose to use.