In many traditional classroom settings, students do not spend a lot of time honing their problem-solving skills or considering how their work could help those around them. But a new program is encouraging them to do so outside of school. This spring, more than 10,000 young people in 17 countries participated in the Inventor’s Challenge, a contest that asks kids from kindergarten through high school to build something that addresses a problem in their school or community.

Although adults...

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