Smithsonian Institution: Picturing Women Inventors

Picturing Women Inventors is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), in collaboration with the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation and the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and is sponsored by Lyda Hill Philanthropies IF/THEN Initiative and Ericsson.


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Be sure to visit SITES Community Portal, sites.si.edu to download all of the Educational Resources and to View the Exhibit!

Educational Resources

Picturing Women Inventors: Educational Study Guide

The Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation has developed a comprehensive teaching resource to accompany this poster exhibition. Using an inquiry-based approach, the resource explores the stories of women inventors. Beyond the Picture: Teaching Resources for Picturing Women Inventors includes learning objectives, activities, discussion questions, and educational standards for middle and high school grades. Throughout this process, students will continue to think outwardly about the ways their classroom experiences could and should impact their community and the world around them. This educational resource  you can download from the links below: 


  • The Smithsonian Institution's Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the National Museum of American HistoryExplore stories of inventors past and present to develop new perspectives on invention and innovation. 

  • Visit a Spark!Lab Near YouSpark!Lab is a hands-on invention workspace where children and their families can learn about and engage in the history of invention and create, innovate, collaborate, and problem-solve using the invention process. Visit the Draper Spark!Lab at the National Museum of American History or experience this unique approach to hands-on learning at one of the Spark!Lab National Network sites at cultural and educational organizations across the country. 

  • Digital Spark!Lab ActivitiesExperience Spark!Lab online through digital renderings of the materials used in the Draper Spark!Lab in the National Museum of American History. In these virtual invention challenges you can combine, and resize pieces to make your vision a digital reality—or create your own pieces to make your invention unique!
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  • Do Try This at HomePractice your inventive creativity at home with engaging hands-on activities for young inventors.
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  • US Patent and Trademark Office: Explore the USPTO’s resources on not only inventing but the patenting process as well. Search for patents online, includes helpful advice on patent search techniques, or search Google PatentsThe USPTO also offers additional resources for educators and students.

Exhibition Partners

Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES)

SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for more than 65 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play. For exhibition descriptions and tour schedules, visit sites.si.edu.

The Smithsonian Institution's Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the National Museum of American History

Explores the role of invention and innovation in the United States, particularly its historical context, and how that history relates to current events.

 US Patent and Trade Office

The mission of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is to foster innovation, competitiveness and economic growth, domestically and abroad, by providing high quality and timely examination of patent and trademark applications, guiding domestic and international intellectual property (IP) policy, and delivering IP information and education worldwide.