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In 2011, when the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum (The Discovery) opened to the public, the museum became the first Spark!Lab Smithsonian location outside of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Since then the Spark!Lab network has grown to eight locations nationwide. Representatives from all eight Spark!Lab locations and from the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation recently visited Reno for the Spark!Lab National Network Conference held at The Discovery.
“Being the first Spark!Lab outside Washington, D.C. has allowed us to develop an effective platform for helping visitors understand and interact with the process of invention,” said Mat Sinclair, President/CEO of The Discovery. “We are honored to host this conference to learn from other Spark!Lab network locations and share what we’ve learned from our success.”
The Spark!Lab Smithsonian at The Discovery uses fun activities to help museum visitors learn about the history and process of invention. The exhibit features games, experiments, inventors’ notebooks, famous inventions and the opportunity to create your own invention.
The 20-person group toured the museum, attended expert panels featuring local innovators from Microsoft and Peep No More, participated in workshops and toured the Tesla Gigafactory. During the visit the Spark!Lab National Network hopes to foster a community of practice around an inventive mindset, identify shared successes and challenges, explore opportunities for growth, provide tools to inspire change through invention and innovation and share The Discovery’s strategies around collaboration and risk taking.
To learn more about Spark!Lab National Network, visit invention.si.edu/tags/sparklab-national-network.