challenge 17


An Invention for Good 

Kicking this season off with a classic from Season 1!

For this challenge, you will invent something that will make someone else’s life better. 

It could be a tool, device, machine, etc. that helps someone somewhere with something! A good inventor understands who their invention is for and what challenge or problem it solves. To help with this challenge you will learn about the “Design Thinking Process” – a process for creative problem solving. Design Thinking is used by individuals in many different careers. It can help identify complex problems and help individuals create innovative solutions. It encourages learning about your customer/user and encourages invention through experimentation. So obverse the world around you, identify a problem and start developing creative solutions!


  • Empathy
  • Design Thinking
  • Prototyping


  1. A rough prototype of your invention.
  2. A pitch, short video (Max. 1:30 minutes) that explains who your invention is for, the problem it solves, and how it works.

Need help with coming up with an idea?

CHECK OUT STEM Prompt Generator

What is a Prototype?

A prototype is design tool which is used to help create a new product/concept. In the basic form it is a model that represents what the product will look and feel like. Prototypes do not have to be “working” meaning they could just be used to help tell the story of your product (invention). 

The prototype example seen on the right was created by IDEO during a design sprint to create a new device used for sinus surgeries. The team first created the prototype to show a team of doctors. Rough, not working, made with office supplies. This prototype helped create the final product!

Your prototype does not have to be perfect, it just needs to help you tell your story!


  1. Create a video pitch (Max 01:30)
  2. Post the video on social media (Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.) Tag Flux.
    1. Twitter
    2. Instagram @Fluxspace_io
    3. Facebook (search for page Flux.)
  3. Include the correct hashtag #Flux2STEAM1
  4. Also Tag @sharpen_design and use #MadeWithSharpen
  5. See a great example from last season to the right.

Generate an Idea

A good inventor understands the needs of who they are making the invention for. What matters for the person I am making this for? What problem am I solving? Brainstorm ideas. To help with an idea check out, a really cool STEM design challenge generator.

Build a Prototype

Using materials you have laying around build a rough prototype of your invention. Use craft materials, recyclables, building blocks, sticks, etc. get creative and be resourceful! Remember – It does not need to work, just needs to be a physical representation to help understand the concept and purpose. See examples above.

Share It

To be eligible for the prizes listed below you need to share your idea. Film a short (Max 1:30 min video) pitch of your invention. Include details like who is it for, what problem does it solve, etc. Upload/share your video to twitter, facebook or Instagram using #Flux2STEAM1 and #MadeWithSharpen tag (Flux. on Facebook) and tag


Use the following Student Guide to help students organize their thoughts.

Check out, sign up to stay in the loop on when more of their resources go live!

For questions, comments or concerns please email


* indicates required
Tell us about yourself!



56 Buttonwood Street

Norristown, PA 19401


Corbett, Inc.