Invent (GT 2803)

What are the hallmarks of an inventor? Where do good ideas come from? How can you become an inventor yourself?   Can I have the next big idea?  These questions stump senior executives and student makers alike.  Many mistakenly think that it’s magic, that some are born creative while others are not.  Others challenge this notion.  We now know the practices of creative people – those who identify problems and come up with inventive solutions.

This course provides an opportunity to learn about and acquire these practices. You will raise your awareness of how to “find” a problem, state it clearly and approach its solution in a creative way.  You will build the skills needed through in class exercises and assignments. You will develop “habits of the mind” that will serve you later as you identify real problems and seek to create and test creative solutions to those problems.  Student and faculty speakers will introduce you to the culture of innovation at GT so that you will be prepared to pursue your ideas by participating in follow on activities like the InVenture Prize or elements of the CREATE X. initiative like Idea to Prototype or Startup Lab.

Practice makes perfect.  You will complete three invention cycles over the term, each a little more challenging and lasting longer than the previous.   Each project will give you the opportunity to practice a common set of invention activities: discovery and problem finding, ideation and designing, building and testing solutions.

The instructors will serve three roles: creating learning experiences, presenting relevant material and coaching individuals/ teams. 

You will develop the following skills:

  • Understanding problem finding, definition and discovery as critical skills
  • Representing, presenting and communicating creative ideas
  • Collaborating on a team
  • Project and time management
  • Active reflection
  • Self-confidence
  • Risk-taking, and failure recovery
  • Connecting with people and places in the GT innovation ecosystem: the Invention Studio, Maker’s Club, Entrepreneurship Basics,  Student Startup Companies, CREATE X programs (Sartup Lab, Idea to Prototype Undergraduate Research, Startup Launch)
  • Engage with the GT network of student inventors and innovators


  • Identify a societal need and a problem associated with meeting that need
  • Have at least one feature of your problem solution be “inventive” e.g., novel
  • Learn to take risks and to recover from them: failing is OK
  • Build something to demonstrate your problem’s solution:  a model of some kind or proof of concept for a key feature or a prototype at some level of fidelity