A CLASS ACT - YOUNG
A look at the great and often
unrecognized pioneers in the field of invention and innovation.
We cover both young inventors that became well-known
and some lesser-known young inventors.and their contributions.
adding machine was invented by a nineteen-year-old French boy named Blaise Pascal way back in the year 1642.
Leeuwenhoek is best known for his work on the improvements
of the microscope, in 1648 at the age of 16. He also contributed
towards the establishment of microbiology in 1673.
||In 1721, Benjamin
Franklin at the age of 15, was busily occupied in delivering newspapers by day and in
composing articles for it at night. These articles, published anonymously, won wide notice
and acclaim for their pithy observations on the current scene.
Louis Braille was
15 years old, he developed an ingenious system of reading and writing by means of
raised dots. Today, in virtually every language throughout the world,
Braille is the standard form of writing and reading used by blind
At the age of 15, Cyrus Hall
McCormick invented a lightweight cradle for carting harvested grain.
Seven years later, in 1831 he invented the
reaper, a horse
drawn farm implement to cut small grain crops.
produced his first invention at the age of seventeen--embossed
stamps for use on title deeds. At that time, the British government
was losing thousands of pounds in revenue each year through the
illegal reuse of title stamps. Bessemer's invention made the crime
impossible and earned him his first job.
||When he was 15 years old Thomas Alva Edison published a weekly
newspaper, printing it in a freight car that also served as his laboratory. While working
as a telegraph operator, he made his first important invention, a telegraphic repeating
||Since the age of 18, Alexander Graham Bell had been working on the
idea of transmitting speech. While working on a multiple telegraph, he developed the basic
ideas for the telephone.
Westinghouse, at age 19, obtained his first
patent, for a rotary steam engine.
||At age 17, Chester Greenwood applied for a patent. For the next 60
years, Greenwood's factory made earmuffs.
Greenwood went on to create more than 100 other inventions.
a 14-year-old had an idea while working on his father's Idaho farm. Philo realized
an electron beam could scan a picture in horizontal lines, reproducing the image almost
instantaneously. It would prove to be a critical breakthrough, towards electronic television.
||At 16 yrs. old, George Nissen finished high
school and set out to develop a bouncing apparatus(trampoline).
Working in his parentsí garage using steel materials he found at a
junkyard, he built a rectangular frame with a piece of canvas
stretched across it. It was an instant hit ≠ Nissen was sure he
could commercialize it.
||As a 17-year-old high school junior, Robert Heft found himself in need of a
class project. His proposed 50 star
American Flag idea was initially turned down by the teacher. He went
ahead and finished his project, receiving a B minus for his efforts. Heft's teacher
compromised and promised to deliver a better classroom grade if he could get the U.S.
Congress to accept his flag. The rest is history.
from Toledo, Ohio, USA was ten when she became an inventor. Becky
got a patent for her invention in 1974; she was on television and
won awards for it. She improved upon the idea over the next few
years eventually calling it the Glo-Sheet. The Glo-Sheet has been
used in many places. Doctors use them so they can check patient's
notes in the dark without waking them up and the US Navy and NASA
have used them.
||One Saturday morning in 1993, when she was eight years old,
Abigail M. Fleck and
her father, Jonathan, were cooking bacon in their St. Paul,
Minnesota home. Inspired by an offhand comment from her father,.
Abbey Fleck invented a new, quicker and healthier way to cook bacon,
then founded a company to sell her product, The Makin' BaconĆ.
||"I called it a Batball because I can store my baseballs
inside the bat and I like it. It's really cool.'' says Jacob Dunnack
age 10, invented "Magic Sponge Blocks," large building blocks made
from sponge that can safely stack high without worry that they could
fall and hurt a child.
TO LEARN MORE
ON THE BOOKSHELF:
The Stories of Twenty American Kid Inventors
by Tom Tucker, Richard Loehle / Paperback - 144 pages / Sunburst (1998)
The stories of twenty ingenious young Americans who have filed patents with the
United States Patent Office, including Chester Greenwood who invented ear muffs, Ralph
Samuelson, originator of water-skiing, and Vanessa Hess who created colored car wax. A
great inspiration for your own young scientist.
Kids Inventing! A Handbook for Young Inventors
by Susan Casey / Paperback: 144 pages / Jossey-Bass (2005) / Ages 9+
You'll meet inspiring kids just like you who designed their own
award-winning inventions. Discover how exciting it can be to rethink the
world around you, solve problems, and surprise and delight others with the
results. Anything's possible with Kids Inventing!
by Arlene Erlbach / Library
Binding (August 1997) / Lerner Publications Company
The stories of twelve kid inventors. Erlbach uses the
success of 15-year-old Chester Greenwood, who invented earmuffs in 1873, as the takeoff
point for introducing more than a dozen contemporary children who have created their own
inventions. Each double-page spread profiles one child and his or her invention, some of
which have won national recognition in inventors' contests.
Kid Who Invented the Popsicle: And Other Surprising Stories About Inventions
by Don L. Wulffson / Paperback - 128 pages (1999)
Brief factual stories about how various familiar things were invented, many by accident,
from animal crackers to the zipper.
Knight: Girl Inventor
by Marlene Targ Brill, Joanne Friar / Library Binding - 32 pages (October 2001) /
Knight was interested in how things worked and in building and inventing. This picture
book tells the story of how she came up with the idea to make a safer loom at age 12.
So You Want to Be An Inventor?
by Judith St. George, David Small / Paperback: 56 pages / Puffin;
(2005) / Ages 9+
Are you a kid who likes to tinker with
machines that clink and clank, levers that pull, bells that ring,
cogs that grind, switches that turn on and off, wires that vibrate,
dials that spin? You maybe inspired by
what other inventors have accomplished.
ON THE WEB:
The Academy is recognized nationally as an educational resource
center offering enrichment programs for students, and professional
development for teachers and educational administrators.
Partnership for America's
An eagerness to continue learning, without a teacherís prodding, has
characterized those students who have participated in the
Partnershipís programs. In this way, students have become convinced
that education is valuable; and when students believe that education
is valuable, then they will value their education.
Achievements of Children
Amazing Kids! is dedicated to inspiring excellence in children. We
base this mission on the belief that every child has the potential
to be "amazing" in her or his own way. We believe it is through the
realization of this potential that children will be able to live
more productive and satisfying lives.
This site exists to contribute resources for big learners and
promote big learning as a valid way for kids to learn. So explore
the treasure troves, check out the links, sign up for the
newsletter, and go have fun learning something!
Hall of Fame
Spotlight The Famous and The Soon-To-Be Famous Kids throughout the
world by age level (up to age 19). Archive Their Accomplishments
Provide Positive Peer Role Models For All Kids
USPTO Kids Pages
Lots to see and do at this site operated by the United States Patent
and Trademark Office to inspire kid inventors. Resources include
games, links to other government/educational sites, contests,
puzzles and a helpful frequently asked questions page. So fire up
your imagination and get started inventing.
Young Inventors International
inventors and innovative entrepreneurs under the age of 35 to a
global network of resources and support, and provide inventors with
the skills, knowledge, and connections required in commercializing
Classroom Inventor Project
Having young inventors around is exciting. You never know what
they'll come up with. It's best to talk over their invention ideas
first and then make suggestions. Lesson plans from the Apple
Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards
The Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program
challenges students to use creativity and imagination along with
science, technology, and mechanical ability to invent or modify a
ExploraVision is a competition for students of all
interest, skill, and ability levels in grades K-12. The purpose of
the competition is to encourage students to combine their
imaginations with the tools of science to create and explore a
vision of a future technology.