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Kid Inventors' Day (K.I.D.) Lesson Plan

Celebrate the ingenuity of young inventors and spark your students' creativity with MY HERO's multimedia resources to use in the classroom.

Credit: Erik (HASH) Hersman from Orlando [CC BY 2.0)] via Wikimedia Commons

 

MY HERO recommends students read about William Kamkwamba, a boy from Malawai who at the age of 14 erected a windmill that generated electricity. 

The second story is available in text with audio allowing students to listen as they read along. Great for ESL Students!

 

William Kamkwamba

By: Dorothy Lie

William Kamkwamba is a Malawian engineer, TED speaker, and memoirist who built his first windmill from junkyard scraps to help his struggling family farm.

William Kamkwamba

By: Wendy Jewell & David Kemker

William Kamkwamba designed and built a windmill, at the age of 14, for his family in Malawi, Africa.

Many of our most famous inventors began inventing when they were kids. Other young inventors may not be as well known... yet!

 

Students watch one or more of the following short films about young inventors before considering the discussion questions. 

 

Caine's Arcade

Produced by:Nirvan Mullick

Caine Munroy created a working cardboard arcade in his father's garage.

Charles Ofori Antipem

Cheikh Darou Seck

Chales Antipem invented a science set to help African students engage in scientific experiments.

The Secret of Trees

Produced by:Albert Maysles

What do trees know that we don't? 13-year-old inventor Aiden set out to find out.

 

Discussion Questions and Activity

1. William Kamkwamba and the young inventors highlighted in the films started with an idea. What inspired them? 

2. How did Caine come up with the idea for his arcade? What type of arcade game can you create? 

3. How can a small science kit change students' learning in certain parts of the world? 

4. Aiden connected the structure of trees to solar energy. How could his invention be a better way to collect energy from the sun? Research others working to improve solar power. 

 


 

Students read the following News Stories about young inventors.

Who are other young inventors who are being recognized for their work? 

 

Want to invent the next big thing? Think like a kid.

Shubham Banerjee works on his lego robotics braille printer at home, Jan. 6, in Santa Clarita, Calif. Banerjee launched a company to develop a low-cost machine to print braille materials for the blind. It’s based on a prototype he built with his Lego robotics kit for a school science fair project. Last month, tech giant Intel Corp. invested in his startup, Braigo Labs, making the 8th grader the youngest entrepreneur to receive venture capital funding.
Credit: Marcio Jose Sanches/AP

Meet the 11-year-old inventor working to improve lead water testing.

Gitanjali Rao earned the top prize at the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge
Credit: (Courtesy of Andy King/Discovery Education)

Stories

Quinn Callander

By: Shanelle Felipe

Quinn Callander is a 13-year-old who invented protective gear for face masks, helping healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ben Franklin

By: Andrew F.

Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the U.S., created swim flippers (used on the hands) at age 12.

Joseph-Armand Bombardier

By: Vanessa from Casselman

Bombardier invented in the first snowmobile at age 15 in Canada.

The Following Story is Available in Text with Audio so Students can Listen & Read Along

Louis Braille

By: Brett from San Diego

Louis Braille invented a system of writing and reading used by blind people all over the world.

 

Discussion Questions and Activity

1.Quinn Callander is a 13-year-old Boy Scout, who, after taking on a request from a Canadian hospital for a protective gear that could ease the prolonged discomfort from a face mask, immediately set to work and created dozens and dozens of his own ear guard design and created it directly from his 3-D printer. What are other inventions that have helped during the Covid pandemic?

2. Benjamin Franklin and Joseph-Armand Bombardier created their first inventions at a young age. Identify other inventors who began their career during their youth. 

3. As a blind boy, Louis Braille recognized a need for a better way for the blind to read and created a solution. Who are other teen inventors working on solutions to problems? 

4. Be inspired, identify an issue, work with your peers to create an invention to solve the problem. 

5. Share the story of a young inventor or your own efforts as an inventor with MY HERO.

 

MY HERO contests are a great classroom activity

Related Pages

Featured Inventor (myhero.com/inventors)
Credit: mh

External Links




MY HERO Calendar in the Classroom: Learn about a New Hero Every Day of the Year


Organizer created on 12/31/2019 9:42:27 AM by Laura Nietzer

Last edited 2/9/2021 1:01:59 PM by Xenia Shin

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