No Such Thing: K12 Education in the Digital Age


Project Invent: Programs and Tools for Engineering Impact

Ep. 70

In Project Invent, high school students invent technologies that solve real-world problems. We train mentors, publish resources, run events, and connect communities to ensure students are getting a transformative learning opportunity through inventing a change. "Inventing Change," doesn't that sound more like the class you'd envision for young learners in the digital age?

Project Invent empowers students with the 21st century skills to succeed individually and impact globally. The goal is to create a generation of fearless problem solvers.

Connie Liu

Founder, Project Invent

Connie is a mechanical engineer from MIT, passionate educator, and founder of Project Invent. She most recently taught design thinking & engineering at The Nueva School. Now, she runs Project Invent to inspire high school students nationwide to invent technologies that make a difference. She is also an inventor herself, creating assistive technologies to empower those with disabilities.

Justin Buys

Justin Buys is a student in Apex, North Carolina, who has a passion for engineering and computer sciences. Justin has spent over 4 years learning and working with Autodesk applications. Currently he is part of a team working to create assistive products for people with ambulatory disabilities. In his spare time he enjoys mountain biking, reading, and working with his Boy Scout troop. Sambo Mockbee

Claire Powell

Claire Powell is studying engineering and business at Illinois Institute of Technology. During high school, Claire participated in robotics, rebuilt an engine, and customized a motorcycle. She is currently participating in a model airplane competition and works on the propulsion team. Her favorite type of music is heavy metal, and she loves the snow.

Project Invent: 

Project Invent:

Connie Lieu, Forbes 30-Under-30, Education:

The documentary is called "Citizen Architect". Here's a link to it's website:

Also its Amazon page:

POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome):

More Episodes


900 Middle Schoolers in CA Might* Have One of the Country's Most Innovative Learning Experiences This Fall

Ep. 77
Back in Episode 67 we had our first conversation with this group. In a close community in the central valley of California, once, long ago founded by the timber industry, there lies a school district that's building one of the most important school experiences that any 12 or 13-year-old student in the country will experience this coming year.For those unfamiliar with the jargon - "Career and Technical Education" is a category of education models in the US (in parts of the country you know it as Vo-Tech or Vocational Technical education) that historically has been reserved for high schools, where, since the early 80's the federal government has been funding them through the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act.I'm excited to check in with the principle designers of MAD Tech, what excites them about the year to come, and, of course, with current events, what has them worried about what should be a celebrated kickoff this coming fall for what they've built, together as a community for education.Alyson Rocco is Principal at the Madera Technical Exploration Center - “Madera TEC.” She was a Madera High School graduate and is returning to the district after fifteen years in ClovisUnified, ten as a classroom teacher and five in administration.Theron Cosgrave (aka “Cos”) is a national consultant who works with educators on a wide range of issues including project-based learning, curriculum development, school design, leadership development, and strategic planning.Kristin McKenna is the Director of College and Career Readiness. Kristin supports the teachers in Madera Unified’s 25 career pathways, and helps build industry partnerships to align with the courses.She manages all of the CTE specific funding and is responsible for writing new grants as they become available.When you're done listening - head over to and check out some of the photos that Alyson sent me of the new school. For those you who like to geek out about the architectural spaces where learning happens you might love these.