The distinction between
a discovery and invention is not always clear. Scientists merely
document what is already functioning in nature. The inventor creates
a device or techniques or machine that has never existed before.
Many times a scientist and inventor are one in the same person. For
instance, George Washington Carver discovered that lack of nitrates in
the soil were ruining the cotton crop, and that planting peanuts would
restore the land. He then invented many ways to use peanuts.
Invention and discovery seem
to be a human trait. All cultures and both sexes have contributed
to humankind. Tool making was probably the first invention in the
territories of Africa and Asia. Modern historians feel that Asia
was far ahead of the Europeans in engineering, optics, acoustics and many
other disciplines. The Europeans, however, were more world-wide explorers
and brought back inventions they found in Asia to their homeland.
Cultural influences, including religion and wealth of the society, also
influenced scientific thought and invention.
Students should become aware
that all societies contributed to what is known today. Without information
built up over the years, all societies would have to start from the beginning.
The world is always changing because of the advances of science and technology.
Our country is very diverse
and this diversity can add to our strength. Encourage students to
find out the advances of their particular culture by investigating. If children
are not familiar with their ancestry, they can investigate American
contributions from Native American to early and present day
- There are many
inventors throughout the history of the world. The library and encyclopedias
are recommended to obtain information. This can be an extension of the Pre Lab that looked at specific technology.
- Give students the worksheet
and have them write a paragraph on their favorite scientist or inventor.
In the paragraph they should say “why” the person is their favorite.
Have them draw the person, using the cartoon as a template.