Through the Years

Through the Years

Some of the inventions we use today existed long ago, but in completely different forms. The telephone that Alexander Graham Bell patented in 1876, for example, looks much different from the smartphone you might carry in your pocket today. In this activity, you will research a product and create a timeline showing the development of that product from its earliest iteration to its current form.
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Magnetic Field Viewer

Magnetic Field Viewer

From Electricity

You can see magnetic fields in action with this easy-to-make viewer.

Build a Craft Stick Catapult

Build a Craft Stick Catapult

From Engines!

Ancient armies used catapults in battle. But the catapult has been used as recently as World War I. In that war, soldiers used catapults to toss hand grenades at the enemy. Today, catapults are used to launch planes off the decks of huge ships called aircraft carriers. Because the runway is short on an aircraft carrier, the catapult helps get the plane into the air quickly. Try making your own!

The STEM in Your Closet

The STEM in Your Closet

From The Science of Fashion

Have you ever really thought about what kind of science, engineering, and technology actually go into making your clothes? Now is your chance! The zipper on your jacket was at one time an engineering miracle. The shirt that has built-in protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays is a scientific innovation that helps to keep you healthy. There is a world of science and engineering in your closet. Just open the door.

Build the Eiffel Tower

Build the Eiffel Tower

From The Science and Technology of Marie Curie

Built in 1889 for the World Exposition, the Eiffel Tower honored the French Revolution. It also showcased national engineering and design expertise to an audience of global visitors. Originally intended as a temporary monument, it remains one of the world’s most visited landmarks. The structure of the tower itself is actually quite simple! To understand how its rivets and beams join, build a model of your own.



Dig Magazine 
"Innovators: The Stories Behind the People Who Shaped the World, is a great addition to the Build It Yourself series. Among the chapters are: The Medical World, Happiest at Home, Hands-On Technology, and Innovative Accidents. The 25 projects include: make a fossil, make a solar oven, and build your own maglev. Have fun!"

National Science Teachers Association Recommends
"Innovators is a magnificent compilation of vignettes about creative and critical thinkers who have contributed to solving problems and improving existing products or processes... Innovators is a wonderful book. It is engaging, readable, and full of relevant information about important inventions and innovations and the context behind them. Readers will appreciate focus on equity of gender and race among the innovators throughout the book. This book does not contain glossy color photographs, but has cartoon style illustrations throughout. Innovators would be useful for teaching science or STEM classes, for background reading in classes, or can be read and used at home just because it is such an engaging book. As a fifth grade science teacher, I highly recommend getting a copy for any third to sixth grade classroom." Read the complete review online.

Learning Magazine
"What do Google and chocolate chip cookies have in common? Both were created by innovators! Learn about the people and products that have changed the world; then get your students innovating with 25 STEAM projects."

Detailed Book Description

In Innovators: The Stories Behind the People Who Shaped the World with 25 Projects, readers ages 9 to 12 learn about the people behind some of the products, processes, and improvements that produce the reality in which we live.

  • Encourages readers to connect historic innovations to current products and processes.
  • Enrichment activities integrate STEAM skills and encourage readers to engage in the material at a practical level.
Available In:
Hardcover, $11.45
Paperback, $8.45
Includes: Table of Contents | Glossary | Resources | Index | Metric Conversions Chart
Specs: 8 x 10 size | 4-color interior | 128 pages
Subject: Science
Content Focus: Engineering & Technology



Inventors and Innovators

Chapter 1
The Medical World

Chapter 2
Solving Problems With Science

Chapter 3
Happiest at Home

Chapter 4
Engineering New Solutions

Chapter 5
Hands-On Technology

Chapter 6
Innovative Accidents

Metric Conversions
Essential Questions