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Inventors are a mysterious bunch. They are full of creativity, inquisitiveness, and can be quite easily distracted from day-to-day life by the inner workings of their busy minds. Fascinating subjects to study, they make wonderful additions to homeschool study. There are several ways to teach about inventors. And there is so much to learn!
Interest Led Inventor Exploration
What is your scientist interested in? Is there a subject that sparks interest? Is there a person they find inspiring? There is always so much incredible information around inventors and inventions that it easily makes a unit you can notebook or lap book. Here are a few ideas:
- If your learners are into electricity or just want to know how all their gadgets work, check out Nikola Tesla. He’s the guy most well-known for alternating current electricity supply systems.
- If you have a voracious reader, spend some time getting to know Gutenberg and his printing press and exploring how that invention was the start of bringing full books to the masses.
- If you have a child who loves cars, then Henry Ford would be a great option. His patent for a transmission mechanism would lead to a great study about patents and how they work, too!
- Minecraft or general coding and computer lovers will enjoy learning about Dr. Grace Murray Hopper. She led the team that invented COBOL, the first ever user-friendly computer language.
- Just because Kevlar is such a cool material and appeals to students across the board, see what you can learn about Stephanie Kwolek.
The Inventor Study resources above:
- The Story of Science
- Mistakes that Worked – A collection of inventions that came about purely by accident!
- Electrical Wizard
- Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab – A cute mystery story with projects you can make at home interspersed throughout. There is a whole series of these books.
Historical Inventor Exploration
This is the most simplistic to include in your homeschool studies. We use a Book of Centuries to record our history studies. Online resources like About.com’s inventor section (here is Middle Ages) give you many inventors and inventions to add snippets to your studies. To dig deeper into any particular inventor or invention, you can find many resources online, at your local library, and on Amazon.
Include tidbits about many inventors as you learn about their times. You could make it hands-on by creating simple versions of their inventions, trying out their favorite foods, and simulating a patent application process. Including inventors in your studies might even inspire your children to try inventing!
- The Story of Inventions
- On a Beam of Light – Albert Einstein’s biography for young children
- Einstein action Figure. There are a whole series of these real life science figures including Ben Franklin!
Science Based Inventor Exploration
If you are studying a specific science such as physics, or general overview touching on various areas, there are always inventors to include. Here is a very short list of possibilities.
- Physics: Einstein, Tesla, Archimedes, Alexander Graham Bell, John Bardeen, Tim Berners-Lee, etc.
- Chemistry: Alfred Nobel, Rosalind Franklin, Robert Boyle, Marie Curie, John Dalton.
- Electricity: Otto von Guericke, Benjamin Franklin, Alessandro Volta, James Prescott Joule, Thomas Edison, Jack Kilby,
- Medicine: Earle Dickson, Adolf Eugen Fick, Ida Henrietta Hyde, Jonas Salk, Rosalyn Yallow.
- Polymaths: Leonardo DaVinci, Sir Francis Bacon, Eratosthenes, Isaac Newton, Murray Gell-Mann.
No matter how you study inventors, your homeschoolers will most certainly benefit from studying these great minds and the way they see the world differently.