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Grove City Middle School Students Earn Licensing Agreement After Finishing Invention Course and Winning Regional Contest

George Davison interviews Mia Mertz and Madison Mulato

We couldn't be more proud or happier for Mia and Madison. As a district, we have every eighth-grade student take the Inventionland course to introduce them to innovation and original thought.”
— Dr. Joshua Weaver, Grove City Area School District
GROVE CITY, PENNSYLVANIA, UNITED STATES, November 30, 2022 / -- Two eighth-grade students from Grove City Middle School were surprised to learn that their invention turned into an actual licensing agreement for their product.

"We couldn't be more proud or happier for Mia Mertz and Madison Mulato," said Dr. Joshua Weaver, Assistant Superintendent of the Grove City Area School District. "As a district, we have every eighth-grade student take the Inventionland Education invention course to introduce them to innovation and original thought. In addition, we want to instill many soft skills employers seek, including critical thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration, and character, often referred to as the five C's. These skills will be in demand and rewarded in the future."

After taking first place in their middle school contest, the girls advanced and won the Regional Invention Contest in the middle school division. After their win, they were invited to a special video podcast by George Davison, founder of Inventionland and the host of Tomorrow's World Today, an Emmy-nominated television show on the Discovery and Science channels now in its fifth season.

During the podcast, Mr. Davison was so impressed with Mia and Madison's poise and confidence that he called the President of Jokari, an international product distribution company based in Texas. He suggested they work with the families on a licensing agreement, which was executed in late October.

According to Grove City Middle School Principal Mr. Larry Connelly, it's a validation of the course that the school has offered for over five years. "It is an immersive, semester-long experience for our students. It starts with them looking for a problem they want to solve, and it culminates with a presentation they are so thrilled to be able to share and a product that most often they are so proud of," Mr. Connelly explains. "Our primary focus is to get students to own their learning, and this student-directed, teacher-guided course does just that," Mr. Connelly concludes.

Middle school teachers Ms. Karen Garland and Mr. Ben English work with groups of students as they go through the invention course. And while Ms. Garland is incredibly proud of Mia and Madison, she's seen firsthand the amount of innovation, creativity, and excitement from her students and parents. "There's excitement from parents. Parents hear about these inventions, and when something gets home to a parent, and parents are saying, 'My child is talking about school at home?', that's a home run, especially in middle school," Ms. Garland explains. She has seen well over a hundred student inventions in the past five years.

Mr. Ben English explained the structure of their middle school program. "We have an entire pathway for our sixth, seventh and eighth-grade students. In sixth grade, students take a class on business, as well as an introductory technology class. In seventh grade, students enroll in a career exploration class and a more advanced technology course, including CAD (computer-aided design). And it culminates in eighth grade with the Inventionland Education innovation course."

Throughout the innovation course, students work in teams to develop a new product or innovate an existing one, following the same 9-step inventing process used in commercial applications by Inventionland in Pittsburgh, one of the world's largest invention factories.

Mr. Nathan Field, Executive Director of Inventionland Education, says, "Getting young students interested in innovation and inventions is at the heart of our mission. We're committed to instilling an innovation mindset for our next generation of inventors."

About Grove City Middle School:
Nestled in western Pennsylvania between Pittsburgh and Erie, Grove City Middle School serves over 600 students and is part of the Grove City Area School District. They work to provide students with the best possible future-focused education to provide every student to learn from the best experts in the world. In addition, students are fully encouraged to learn in the styles that best meet their needs, preparing them for life beyond school. For more information, visit

About Inventionland Education:
Inventionland Education empowers K-12 educators to become the catalyst that inspires student learners. Their innovation curriculum takes students through the same 9-step inventing process used at their corporate headquarters as one of the world's largest invention companies. They also bring award-winning Innovation Labs® to K-12 schools with immersive learning spaces and professional development for educators. For more information, please visit

Dr. Joshua Weaver
Grove City Area School District
+1 724-458-6733

Teaching Innovation at Grove City Middle School