Thursday, April 28, 2016

Writer's Notebook and Science: Hertha Ayerton Inspires Young Innventors

Today's Google Doodle featured Hertha Ayrton, a British inventor, mathematician, and engineer. She was recognized for her work on electric arcs and ripples in sand and water, and awarded the Hughes Medal by the Royal Society. She is indeed a role model that can inspire students, both girls and boys, and increase their interest in math and science.

If you are looking for literature to incorporate into your STEM curriculum to inspire young inventors, the book Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women by Catherine Thimmesh is a great resource.  It is a collection of brief biographies of women and girls whose creative ideas changed the world.  The last few entries feature young inventors, including  ten year old Becky Schroder who was the youngest female to receive a U.S. patent when she invented Glo-sheet, paper that allows you to write in the dark.  (Perhaps that will inspire writers as well as inventors!)  The book also includes a list of organizations' postal and internet addresses that can help your students get started on the path to developing their own innovative ideas.

Once the ideas start flowing, encourage students to  record them in their writer's notebook.  If they are having difficulty thinking of of new ideas, have them read through their notebook and look for entries about things that "bug" them, or about situations that did not turn out the way they had hoped.  Perhaps this will inspire them to rework an existing product or  develop the idea for something that could improve the situation or eliminate frustration from those things that annoy them.

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