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Play + Creativity = Innovation

Press Release Date 
Tuesday, 16 March, 2010
Did you know that children's play is similar to the creative processes used by inventors? Or that playtime can actually foster inventive talents? Invention at Play, The Tech Museum's newest exhibition answers these questions and more in a colorful showcase spread across 900-square-feet of inventors' stories, videos and interactive experiences that bring a fresh perspective to the topic of discovery. Developed by the Lemelson Center at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, Invention at Play gives visitors the opportunity to experience their own playful and imaginative abilities while exploring the creative methods used by innovators in science and technology, reflecting the ingenious spirit of Silicon Valley. "Invention at Play debunks the notion of inventors as extraordinary geniuses who are not like the rest us," Peter Friess, president of The Tech Museum, said, adding "and it celebrates the creative skills that are familiar to you and me." The exhibition - which has been donated by the Smithsonian to The Tech Museum - features three main areas:
  • The Invention Playhouse, where visitors of all ages can engage in four types of play that foster inventive thinking: exploration/tinkering; make-believe/visual thinking; social play/collaboration; and puzzle play/problem solving
  • Playful approaches to invention, offering narratives and interactive devices
  • Issues in play - past, present and future: What kinds of toys did inventors play with as children? How do new technologies affect children at play?
The popular exhibition is a perfect fit for The Tech Museum because it symbolizes the institution's mission to be the place where people of all ages and backgrounds come to gain a deeper understanding of science and technology, Friess said. "This exhibition is uniquely designed to serve diverse families parents, teachers and youth," he said. "I suspect everyone who visits this exhibition will come away with a greater appreciation for how we create, build and learn." About The Tech Museum The Tech Museum is a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds. The museum – located in the Capital of Silicon Valley – is a non-profit learning resource established to engage people in exploring and experiencing technologies affecting their lives. Through programs such as The Tech Challenge, our annual team design competition for youth, and internationally renowned programs such as The Tech Awards presented by Applied Materials, Inc., The Tech Museum celebrates the Spirit of Silicon Valley by encouraging the development of innovative ideas for a more promising future. Contact: Roqua Montez Senior Manager Public Relations (408) 795-6225 rmontez@thetech.org