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STEM INNOVATOR PROGRAM PARTNERS WITH USPTO STEM INNOVATOR, ALONG WITH USPTO, WILL ALLOW TEACHERS AND THEIR STUDENTS TO TAKE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY CONCEPTS TO THE NEXT LEVEL. Iowa JPEC’s Jacobson Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship has announced a landmark partnership with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The partnership pairs the Institute’s STEM Innovator with the USPTO’s intellectual property workshop for a series of teacher training sessions, offered nationwide. The first session was held Oct. 11 in Iowa City. “STEM Innovator brings expertise in entrepreneurship and innovation to the partnership, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office brings the invention and intellectual property pieces,” said Dawn Bowlus, director of the Jacobson Institute. Bowlus and Dr. Leslie Flynn of the UI College of Education created STEM Innovator, whose K-12 curriculum and teacher training are built upon educational training best practices and ongoing University of Iowa research. STEM Innovator helps teachers – and their students – understand how a great idea, product, or solution to a local problem can be researched and taken to market. The USPTO component takes the concept even further, helping teachers and their students understand how to protect their investment in the idea or solution. “We are very happy to have a (joint partnership
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Dr. Leslie Flynn (from left), University of Iowa science education professor and cofounder of STEM Innovator; Denise Sylvester, outreach officer with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Detroit; Dr. Jorge Valdes, USPTO education program advisor in Washington, D.C.; and Dawn Bowlus, Director of the Jacobson Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship and co-founder of STEM Innovator, pause for a photo during the Oct. 11 teacher training session held in Iowa City.
agreement) with the innovators at the University of Iowa and look forward to working together to create more opportunities for educators and students to explore intellectual property,” said Dr. Christal Sheppard, director of the USPTO Midwest regional office in Detroit. Dr. Jorge Valdes with the USPTO office in Washington, D.C., and Denise Sylvester with the Midwest regional office joined Bowlus and Flynn for the Oct. 11 training session. The USPTO announced the partnership that morning during a keynote with the SAFERSIMposium, held by the National Advanced Driving Simulator. NADS has been a community partner for high school students in the pilot STEM Innovator class through Kirkwood Regional Center at the University of Iowa. A second STEM Innovator-USPTO training session will be held in the spring in Washington, and a third will be held online.