AUGUSTA — If the results of the Path of Invention game are any indication, the Prescotts, mother and sons, are destined for entrepreneurial success.

For a stretch of time Tuesday morning, they rolled the dice and found the path to success or failure is not straight, is not direct and is fraught with challenges and pitfalls and unexpected good luck.

The giant board game, covering two tables in an exhibit room on the fourth floor of the Maine State Museum, is just one of the activities that focus on invention and innovation planned by the Maine State Museum and the Maine State Library for this week’s school vacation.

Joy Prescott brought her sons Sawyer and Griffin to Augusta from Brunswick because they like inventing things with Legos and blocks, and she thought they would enjoy combining a trip to the Maine State Museum — which they had not visited before — with the Annual Science Program for Kids at the University of Maine at Augusta in the afternoon.

As the Prescotts made their way around the board, they learned a bit about the lives of the inventors featured and the problems they encountered.

The game offers three outcomes based on points scored and given up by collecting cards with different point values along the way: fame and fortune, comfortable success and hard work and struggle.

The Prescotts survived possible hazards such as hurricanes hitting their factories or unexpected tax bills, family events such as the death of a spouse or parent or the birth of a 13th child and typical business events such as the buying and selling of patents.

Every year for February and April vacations the Maine State Museum puts together programs designed to get families out of the house and into the museum.

Joanna Torow, chief educator at the Maine State Museum, said events this week are based on invention and creation. The events in the Path of Invention are taken from the real-life experiences of Maine-born inventors such as gunsmith John Hall, whose ideas led to innovations in machining and mass producing rifles for the War Department in the early 1800s; ear protector inventor Chester Greenwood; and Milton Bradley, the man who is credited with launching the board game industry in the United States and whose game the Checkered Game of Life inspired the Path of Invention.

“They seemed interested in the history,” Prescott said of her sons, who had gone on after their victories to take on the Inventor’s Challenge and build a dream machine with kits assembled by the museum staff. “They asked what a patent was.”

Torow and Kate Zoll, lead educator at the Maine State Museum, started working on the game about three weeks ago, tossing around ideas and researching the lives of noted Maine inventors.

“We looked at their pitfalls and successes and came up with different events,” Zoll said.

The game and the activities will continue all week long at the Maine State Museum with morning and afternoon sessions.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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