phd mama

from diapers to deconstruction

Inventors and Inventions

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While we enjoyed the stories of specific inventions and inventors (the paper bag particularly stuck with my kids), one of the most interesting parts of this study was the process. Even in the fantastical accounts of inventing, the inventors had to work through the scientific method, endure failures, and recover from setbacks on the way to making amazing things. The stories below include biography, history, science, and fiction, but they all emphasize the importance of persistence in problem solving.

  1. Watch The Absent-Minded Professor
  2. All Aboard! Elijah McCoy’s Steam Engine by Monica Kulling and Bill Slavin
  3. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake
  4. Watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  5. Watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
  6. Eat My Dust! Henry Ford’s First Race by Monica Kulling and Richard Walz
  7. Electric Ben: The Amazing Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin by Robert Byrd
  8. Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women by Catherine Thimmeah and Melissa Sweet
  9. How Nearly Everything Was Invented by the Brainwaves
  10. Incredible Inventions poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach
  11. Invention by DK Eyewitness
  12. The Inventor’s Secret: What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford by Suzanne Slade and Jennifer Black Reinhardt
  13. In the Bag! Margaret Knight Wraps It Up by Monica Kulling and David Parkins
  14. Inventor McGregor by Kathleen Pelley and Michael Chesworth
  15. Leonardo and the Flying Boy: A Story about Leonardo Da Vinci by Laurence Anholt
  16. Listen Up! Alexander Graham Bell’s Talking Machine by Monica Kulling and Richard Walz
  17. Mad Margaret Experiments with the Scientific Method by Eric Braun and Robin Boyden
  18. Play Hasbro’s Mousetrap
  19. Ferris and His Wheel by Kathryn Gibbs Davis and Gilbert Ford
  20. Neo Leo: The Ageless Ideas of Leonardo da Vinci by Gener Barretta
  21. Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin by Gene Barretta
  22. Oh, the Things They Invented! All About Great Inventors by Bonnie Worth, Aristides Ruiz, and Joe Mathieu
  23. Papa’s Mechanical Fish by Candace Fleming and Boris Kulikov
  24. Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum by Meghan McCarthy
  25. Watch Robots
  26. Robots, Robots, Everywhere! by Sue Fliess and Bob Staake
  27. Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts
  28. Violet the Pilot by Steve Breen
  29. Wendel’s Workshop by Chris Riddell
  30. Watch Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
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