Less than 2% of patent holders in the United States identify as Latina. This statistic is problematic considering the increasing Latinx population and the empirical evidence which indicates the benefits of drawing on diverse perspectives in the invention ecosystem. In an effort to increase diversity among inventors and patent holders, K-12 programs have been created to provide opportunities for students to participate in the iterative and recursive processes of inventing. One example is the emerging field of invention education. Invention education is an educational approach which teaches students how to identify and solve problems within their communities. Little is known about the experiences of Latina students who have participated in invention education and have begun developing identities as inventors. Through narrative methodology, I analyze how the life experiences of three Latina students who participated on a high school invention team contribute to their identity development as inventors. Applying Yosso's Community Cultural Wealth theory as a framework, I also explore the different types of cultural capital the young inventors draw on throughout the development of their identities. Analysis indicates participation in extracurricular invention education activities contributes to the development of an inventor's identity. Major findings include the role of educators and families, specifically siblings, as valuable sources of cultural capital. I also identify two additional types of cultural capital the participants drew on throughout the development of their inventor identities. The first is risk taking capital, which I define as the willingness to take risks and say yes to opportunities that could provide benefits. The second form of cultural capital I identify is hustle capital, which I conceptualize in an academic sense, as effort and energy exerted to learn or achieve a goal.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
School of Teacher Education
Education; Elementary Education
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Saenz, Cristina, "The Narratives of Latina Students who have Participated in Invention Education" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1279.