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Inventors and Inventions Theme Page

This "Theme Page" has links to two types of resources related to the study of inventors and inventions. Students and teachers will find curricular resources (information, content...) to help them learn about this topic. In addition, there are also links to instructional materials (lesson plans) that will help teachers provide instruction in this theme. Please read our disclaimer.

3M Collaborative Invention Unit
A teaching unit on what it takes to become an inventor. Students learn about four required roles (scout, wizard, critic, trailblazer) by reading information, completing activities, and exploring other sites.

Ancient Inventions
Take a tour and find out the history of forty six ancient inventions, from Smith College History of Science, Mueum of Ancient Inventions.

Canadian Inventions and Inventors
This database of Famous Canadian Patents from "Learn and Discover" Website by Industry Canada, describes some of our most famous inventions and inventors.

Creativity, Innovation and Problem Solving
Eleven guidelines to creativity, innovation, and problem solving with historical examples of how these have been used.

Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci
A detailed look at 39 of Leonardo da Vinci's drawings and inventions.

Exploring Leonardo
A comprehensive Website on Leonardo da Vinci, which includes five lesson plans for hands-on classroom activities. The four content sections provide information on Leonardo's futuristic inventions, Renaissance techniques for drawing perspective, a biography of the man, and his curious habit of writing in reverse.

Inventing a New Kind of Pencil
Some ideas for teaching a lesson on inventing a new kind of pencil. The site has a link to a similar page on inventing a new kind of eraser also.

Inventing is Kids Stuff
A unit plan from New Brunswick in which students in grades 4-8 use "things that bug them" to brainstorm, create, and advertise inventions.

This section of the GIRLTECH site has information for the person interested in learning how to invent, descriptions of some kooky inventions, funny quotes about inventions, stories about some female inventors, and a bibliography of resources for kid inventors.

Invention and Design
This site is intended to promote a better understanding of the principles of the invention and design process. Included are an innovative set of learning modules that employ a "hands-on" approach (solar water heating, telephone, environment, and library search strategies), links to other www resources, and resources for teachers.

Invention Dimension
A comprehensive site. The above link is to the home page but if you wish access to two of the best resources, click the buttons below:

Inventions and Technology
Learn about nine inventions that were developed during the Renaissance: Clocks, Gunpowder and Artillery, Eye Glasses and Spectacles, Printing Press, Flush Toilet, Microscope, Telescope, Submarine, and the Match.

Inventors and Their Inventions
A Website from Think Quest Junior. You can read articles, play a game, search timelines for inventions, and even take a quiz. There are good links, and if you have an idea, click on share inventions. Lots of fun for grades 4 to 6 level.

[The] Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation
From the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, the Lemelson Center's "Centerpieces" provides virtual tours on such inventions as the electric lightbulb, electric guitar, whole cloth, and quartz watch. Their "Digging Deeper" section has links to other Websites.

Music Inventions
In this teaching unit, intermediate students learn about sound, examine simple musical instruments, and then are challenged to create their own unique musical instrument.

National Inventors Hall of Fame
Brief descriptions of inventors and their inventions that have been registered at the U.S. Patent Office. As expected, most are American but other nationalities are represented as well. Some descriptions have links to other related web sites on the same inventor.

National Science Teachers Association: All Awards, Grants and Competitions
The NSTA sponsors a number of science competitions for U.S. students including: The Toshiba ExploraVision award, which asks students what a form of technology might be like 20 years in the future; The Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program, where students are challenged to invent or modify a tool; and The Duracell Competitions to design and build working devices powered by Duracell¨ batteries. The Toshiba contest is open to Canadian students as well.

TrackStar is an online interface that allows instructors to create lessons for students by sequencing existing instructional content in various Websites within a lesson. Students explore one topic at a particular location within one Website then move on to the next topic at another Website. The list of topics remains visible throughout the lesson so that students can remain on track. Explorations of the Websites beyond the designated instructional content are also possible.

This link is to their search page from where a keyword search on "inventor" or "invention" will produce numerous hits. Caution #1: Many of the Websites that these lessons access may already be on this CLN page - it's the creation of lesson objectives and the sequencing of the tours through the sites that make the lesson potentially useful to your students. Caution #2: The quality of the lessons (e.g., defining objectives, finding Websites, sequencing the tours) will vary widely within the TrackStar collection.

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Note: The sites listed above will serve as a source of curricular content in Inventors and Inventions. For other resources in Science (e.g., curricular content in Earth Science, General Science, Life Science, or Physical Science), or for lesson plans and theme pages, click the "previous screen" button below. Or, click here if you wish to return directly to the CLN menu, which will give you access to educational resources in all of our subjects.

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