THE EVENT\ Classes: Kindergarten through sixth grade\Number of students: 450\ Subject: American free enterprise\ Students began the yearlong program with activities designed to help them think more carefully about inventions and how they shape history. An Inventors Day in January brought nine local inventors to the classrooms. Children asked questions about the Utah artificial arm and a new process for making candy. The convention was the culmination of the program in which students portrayed through song and skit the inventive process. Parents then viewed inventions the students had designed. An in-school patent office gave each student a patent number as he or she completed an Intent to Invent form that identified a problem and their invention, which was designed to solve the problem. K mart, Pepsi and Polaroid contributed to the program.

THE SCHOOL\ Location: 1850 S. 2500 East\ Students: 450, kindergarten through sixth grade

Number of teachers: 22\ Principal: Maria L. Peterson

School district: Salt Lake\ THE LESSON

The teachers' objective:

"Our original goal was to teach the kids what an invention and inventor were," third-grade teacher David Tesseyman said. "In the process, they've learned some important critical-thinking skills." Through hands-on experience, the students learned what it means to be an inventor, he said. "They've come to some good realizations about the inventing process."

The children say:

- Third-grader Catie Hinckley learned that inventions make life easier. "For example, the remote control television; you don't have to get up to change the channels."

- Jason Condie was excited about inventions because "there are a lot left to invent."

- Joel Hsia mentioned the car as a "great example of how useful" inventions are to everyday life.