Skateboarding and the Smithsonian?  Yes, it’s going down the last weekend of October with 2 days of awesome events, including special guests Rodney Mullen, Paul Schmitt, Christian Hosoi, Josh Friedberg, and more legendary humans!

Read below for the event details and find out how it’s all rolling out:

Friday, October 28 – MIT Stata Center

  • 5:30pm – Intersections of Innovation Master Class
    • Panelists
      • Rodney Mullen, skateboard legend
      • Steven Sebring, filmmaker, photographer, innovator
      • Allan Adams, Physics and Comparative Media Studies and Writing, MIT
      • Anette (Peko) Hosoi, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Associate Department Head of Operations at MIT
      • Josh Friedberg, Secretary General, International Skateboarding Federation

Saturday, October 29 – Lynch Family Skate Park

  • 11am – Open Skate / Skate Clinic
  • 12:20pm – Welcome Remarks
  • 12:30pm – Panel 1 – 50 Years of Skateboard Innovation and Invention
    • Panelists
      • Paul Schmitt, Inventor, Skateboard designer
      • Christina Chase, Lecturer in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Co-Director of STE@M (Sports Technology Education @ MIT)
      • Demonstrations by professional skaters
    • Hosts
      • Ryan Clements, The Boardr
      • Betsy Gordon, Smithsonian
  • 1:15pm – Open Skate
  • 1:45pm – Panel 2 – Innovation, Collaboration and Community – The creation of the Lynch Family Skatepark
    • Panelists
      • Renata Von Tscharner, Charles River Conservancy
      • Steve Van Doren, Vans
      • Josh Friedberg, Secretary General, International Skateboarding Federation
      • Armin Bachman, Orchard
    • Host
      • Jeff Brodie, Deputy Director, Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center
  • 2:15pm – Open Skate
  • 2:45pm – Panel 3 – The Skateboarder’s Brain – Creativity and Learning in Skateboarding
    • Panelists
      • Rodney Mullen, skateboard legend
      • Chris Leppla, Doctoral Candidate, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT
    • Host
      • Jeff Brodie, Deputy Director, Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center
  • Best Trick Contest Presented by Orchard
    • Obstacle: Bump to picnic table
    • Open to skaters with a signed waiver
  • Closing Remarks
  • Professional Skaters in Attendance:
    • Christian Hosoi, Rodney Mullen, and more…
  • Educational Activities Happening All Day:
    • Spark!Lab hands-on activities – Invent Your Own Skate Park, Invent Your Own Skate Wheel
    • Formlabs – 3D printing demonstration, design your own skate park with 3D printed materials, 3D printed skateboard components
    • Tech Imaging – Demonstration of high speed image capture of skateboarders
    • Lemelson-MIT Program – Hands-on activity exploring the physics of optics


If you want to skate in the Best Trick Contest or participate in the Clinic, you need to fill this waiver out. If you’re under 18, and your parents aren’t with you, bring a signed copy. We will also have copies on site.


About Innoskate Cambridge

It’s a unique and successful collaboration between the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation and the skateboard community grounded in the belief that invention and innovation happen every day, often in unexpected places. Innoskate public festivals celebrate invention and creativity through the sharing of skate culture’s widespread innovative spirit and history with diverse public audiences. These popular public festivals spark the imaginations of young people through skate demonstrations, presentations and discussions with skaters and inventors, films, invention and STEAM educational activities, art collaborations, and acquisition of skate objects for the national collections.

The inaugural Innoskate event took place in 2013 on the 10th anniversary of global Go Skateboarding Day. With a skate ramp installed on the National Museum of American History’s plaza facing the National Mall and the Washington Monument serving as a dramatic backdrop, participants Tony Hawk, Rodney Mullen, Patti McGee, Cindy Whitehead, Paul Schmitt, and others shared their insights about skate history, invention, and innovation with thousands of men, women and children from around the world. The success of the initial Innoskate event inspired new collaborations and additional Innoskate festivals in 2014 at the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, Florida, and at the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle, Washington. In 2015, Innoskate reached new heights with events at The Children’s Museum of the Upstate in Greenville, South Carolina, and at the ESPN X Games in Austin, Texas.

Innoskate 2016 features a new collaboration with the Lemelson-MIT program to create a festival at the Lynch Family Skatepark in Cambridge. This event will draw upon the collective energy and expertise of the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, the Lemelson-MIT program, MIT faculty and staff, and other community partners to create an entertaining and educational program for the public. Innoskate 2016 will kick-off Friday evening with a special event featuring skateboarding legend Rodney Mullen, artist, photographer, and filmmaker Steven Sebring, and MIT inventors and innovators from the Edgerton Lab and the Media Lab to explore the intersections of art, technology, creativity, and innovation. On Saturday, October 30 at the Lynch Family Skatepark discussions and activities will explore the history and technological evolution of the skateboard (how skaters and innovators work together to push the boundaries of skating), an exploration of cognitive science and how the brain learns and remembers how to perform skate tricks, and a special session will explore the creation of the Lynch Family Skatepark highlighting how the park helps preserve the environmental stability of the Charles River while also providing a community center for self-expression. Participants will also enjoy additional hands-on educational activities, demonstrations, art projects, public skating, and a best trick contest.