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Website of the Week — Lemelson-MIT Invention Program

Time again for our Website of the Week, when we showcase interesting and innovative online destinations.

This week, it's a site devoted to inventors and their inventions, and is hosted by one of America's top universities.

MAKOFSKE: "The Lemelson-MIT Program website serves to fulfill its mission by providing information resources for inventors and also by educating the public about inventors and their lives."

Melissa Makofske is the manager of the Lemelson-MIT program website, celebrating innovation at

One way it celebrates innovation is through its Inventor of the Week feature, which includes an archive of famous and not-so-famous names. Automotive airbag inventor Allen Breed, air conditioning inventor Willis Carrier, and crossword puzzle inventor Arthur Wynne share billing with Thomas Edison and the Wright Brothers. Each inventor gets a biographical essay about his or her life and invention.

Makofske says the Inventor of the Week is part of an educational segment of the site called Invention Dimension.

MAKOFSKE: "We hope to serve educators who want to learn about inventors and teach their students about inventors. We also hope to provide information for students that, again, are interested in learning about the process, as well as inventors who need advice on patenting, perhaps, or marketing."

There are also games for kids and resources for inventors themselves.

History books are full of stories about great inventors of the past. Melissa Makofske says it's about time today's innovators get credit, too.

MAKOFSKE: "[In] past years, inventors at one point were kind of at the forefront of society. And I think that today we could do a better job about learning about them and their role and their contributions to society."

You can also read about the big-money prizes now available to encourage today's inventors at the Lemelson-MIT program website at, or get the link from our site, VOA