Celebrating African American Inventors

Celebrating African American Inventors

For the past 6 weeks we’ve been discussing the Invent It Challenge in which we ask kids ages 5 to 21 to think about a real-world health problem and come up with a solution. Individuals or teams of students become inventors, follow the Smithsonian Spark Lab Steps of Invention, and submit their invention idea as a video or PowerPoint.


We’re about half-way through the development period now (be sure to have your kids get their entries in by March 18th!) so it seemed like a good time to talk about some inventors who have made our world a better place. And since this also happens to be Black History Month, who better to focus on then some of the African American inventors who have inspired us and changed the world.


Here are profiles of two African American inventors, Elijah McCoy and Granville T. Woods, who have appeared in our magazines over the years. We hope the amazing stories of these inventors inspires your young inventor to perfect his or her project. For even more information about African American inventors check out African-AmericanInventors.org.


Granville T. Woods:  Turning Ideas Into Reality

Granville T. Woods - Click on image to read the PDF File

Elijah McCoy: He’s The Real McCoy

Elijah McCoy  _ Click on image to read PDF


Be sure to check back next week when we will profile step 6: Tweak It in the 7 Steps of Invention process.