The recipient of the 2017 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge invented “a 3D printed device that harnesses carbon nanotubes and a mobile app to test water for lead contamination in as little as 10 seconds.” Gitanjali Rao’s invention is truly revolutionary. But perhaps even more amazing is the fact that Rao was only 12 years old when she won this award. Then again, Rao is just one on a long list of young people who have made their mark in the field of inventions. Louis Braille was a teenager when he created the Braille language, which is used universally today; five year old Robert Patch invented toy trucks and Frank Epperson was only 11 when he created the Popsicle.
We celebrate young inventors, such as these, on January 17th, also known as Benjamin Franklin Day. Franklin, who invented many items during his lifetime, (which include bifocal glasses, the lightning rod and the glass harmonica) actually created his first invention when he was only 11 years old. By utilizing two oval pieces of wood, Franklin created the first swimming fins!
Because this unofficial holiday also “aims to encourage children to be curious about the world around them and to be creative when solving problems,” here are a few of the books we offer at DBRL to encourage your budding inventor and get them off to a great start!
- “Ben Franklin’s Big Splash: The Mostly True Story of His First Invention” by Barb Rosenstock
- “Earmuffs for Everyone: How Chester Greenwood Became Known as the Inventor of Earmuffs” by Meghan McCarthy
- “The Most Magnificent Thing” by Ashley Spires
- “If I Built a Car” by Chris Van Dusen
- “Iqbal and His Ingenious Idea” by Elizabeth Suneby
- “Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade” by Melissa Sweet
- “Young Thomas Edison” by Michael Dooling
- “Tinkerlab: A Hands-on Guide for Little Inventors” by Rachelle Doorley
- “Leonardo Da Vinci: Young Artist, Writer and Inventor” by George Edward Stanley