Posts Tagged ‘inventors’

Inventions & Inventors!

September 5th, 2013

Hi!  It’s Thursday, September 5, 2013 and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

ThinkQuest: Greatest Inventions

Age Range: 10-18 (about middle school and high school, with parental supervision)

This website traces the path of man through history via the greatest Inventions of all time and the biographies of their inventors.

Click on the link above and it will take you to the sitemap that provides some clues on the best way to navigate the site. You’ll discover:

*Timelines – See how people evolved from the invention of the printing press in 1450 to modern inventions like the DVD.

*Inventions – Learn about some of the greatest inventions that have improved the quality of life for people and discover why Greek philosopher Plato said, “Necessity is the mother of invention”.

*Inventors – Meet the great inventors who created tools and devices to improve the quality of life.

*Interactive – Try your hand at solving and playing the interactive puzzles and games. They require some of the specialized knowledge about inventors and inventions you’ll learn at the site.

You’ll also find links to all kinds of other websites that have resources about inventions and inventors to further learning.

I also HIGHLY RECOMMEND taking the virtual “Guided Tour” of the site, as it gives you a birds-eye-view of what you can learn here.

History of Chewing Gum!

September 22nd, 2011

Hi! It’s Thursday, September 22, 2011 and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!
Recommended Websites:
See Below

Age Range: 8 and up (with adult supervision)

The following websites present the history of chewing gum and various popular and nostalgic brands. You can even watch video clips that show how gum is manufactured!


This ad-supported website offers free information about the history of gum from its invention to the modern day manufacturing process. When you get to the site, you can read the history of gum. Then use the horizontal menu at the top of the screen to explore:

*Chewing Gum Facts – Learn about the different types of gum, what happens when you swallow gum, and why chewing gum isn’t allowed in Singapore.

*Chewing Gum History – Find out if prehistoric man chewed gum, discover when bubble gum was invented, explore a chewing gum timeline, and read the biographies of gum inventors.

*Making Chewing Gum – Discover the ingredients used to make gum and watch two short videos that describe how regular gum is made and how bubble gum is manufactured!


This website offers the history of gum and information on gum ingredients. Don’t miss “How Gum is Made” – a terrific step-by-step illustration and explanation of the entire gum manufacturing process. And check out some fun facts about Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit and Spearmint gums.


This website offers a very brief but fascinating history of chewing gum and nostalgic brands of gum.  When you get to the site use the horizontal menu at the top of the screen to explore:

*The History of Gum – Follow the timeline to learn how a chance encounter lead to an idea that resulted in the start of the giant chewing gum industry! Learn the history of various brands including Dentyne, Chiclets, Bubblicious, and Trident.

*Story of Thomas Adams – Find out how a young photographer became the chairman of the board of the American Chicle Company.

Click on the “I Love Gum” logo in the middle of the menu bar to go back to the home page. There, you can click on the pictures of each stick of gum to learn more about:

  • Beemans – A gum invented in 1879 by Dr. Edward Beeman, a physician.
  • Black Jack – The first flavored chewing gum.
  • Adams Sours – This fruit-flavored sour chewing gum debuted in 1965.

Return to the menu at the top of the page to learn more about Cadbury Adams USA, one of the manufacturers of the nostalgic gum brands.

Social Studies Through Inventions!

September 15th, 2011

Hi!  It’s Thursday, September 15, 2011 and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:
The Great Idea Finder

Age Range: 8-18 (with parental guidance)

This website was created by an Internet consulting company to inspire the “inventor” in everyone. It showcases the history of remarkable inventions, inventors, and great ideas throughout time.

When you get to the site click on “Enter” and a new page opens. In the center of the screen you’ll see some features. Use the vertical menu on the left side of the page to access:

*First Time Visitor – Get an indexed overview of what you’ll find on this content-rich website that features innovation information about the past, present, and future.
*History Facts & Myths – Explore an incredible archive of history’s most interesting inventions and the stories behind them including the Abacus, Car, Coca-Cola, Frisbee, Hair Dryer, Internet, Jell-O, Liquid Paper, Microwave Oven, Post-It Notes, Slinky, and many more. Each invention includes a bibliography for further reading as well as links to more sources of info on the Internet. Plus, you’ll find:

  • Inventor Biography – Read the biographies of notable inventors such as Steve Jobs (Apple Computer), Ed Johnson (Christmas Lights), Harvey Ball (Smiley Face), Alfred Butts (Scrabble), and many more.
  • Innovation Timeline – Search any era in history (from ancient BC to the modern 21st Century) to learn about the innovations that occurred during that time period. Includes photographs, quotations, and resources for further learning.
  • Innovation Games & Trivia – Don’t be afraid to take this test BEFORE you explore the site. The questions are intriguing, so if you don’t know the answers and your curiosity gets the better of you — find out instantly by clicking the “answer” button. A great way to introduce the topic of invention and segue to a history lesson. :)

*Idea Showcase – The point of innovation is to improve the quality of life.  That said, inventors like making income by selling their inventions. In this section you can check out award-winning inventions and purchase them as well.  

*Features – Find out how many inventions were the result of an accident. See how inventors improve upon the inventions of others to “build a better mousetrap.” Check out inventions that changed civilization and had an enduring effect on the world.

*Resource Center – Find resources for further learning and investigation including websites, books, movies, and a listing of contests, competitions, experiments, and projects for the young inventor.  (Some are available for free, others for a fee.) Find resources for invention mentors too.

*History Articles – Read in-depth articles on historical innovations, inventors, pioneers, and entrepreneurs. Find out about the Patent Act of 1790 and explore some patents that have become products.

Students will need good reading skills to explore this site independently, and non-readers of all ages will enjoy the pictures  and information with assistance.

The History of Electronic Games!

May 26th, 2011

Hi! It’s Thursday, May 26, 2011 and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website
International Center for the History of Electronic Games

Age Range: 10 and up (approximately, with parental supervision)

The International Center for the History of Electronic Games is a museum in Rochester, New York that “collects, studies, and interprets video games, other electronic games, and related materials and the ways in which electronic games are changing how people play, learn, and connect with each other, including across boundaries of geography and culture.”

At this companion website you can explore an interactive timeline (or download a free pdf version) of the history of electronic games and delivery systems from 1961-2008 including:

  • Pong
  • Pac-Man
  • Donkey Kong
  • Tetris
  • Game Boy
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Play Station
  • The Sims
  • Xbox
  • Nintendo Wii
  • World of Warcraft

Just click on the dates in the timeline to learn about legendary games and game systems, along with their inventors including Will Wright, Ralph Baer, Don Daglow, and others. You’ll enjoy a brief textual history along with photographs.

When you’re through with the timeline you can learn much, much more about the history of electronic games by using the menu that includes research information. See how electronic games evolved from other forms of play and explore the big controversies surrounding video games

You can also Take a Virtual Tour of the museum and see the amazing exhibits.  The gamers in your home are sure to want to take a field trip or family vacation to experience this museum in real time.

Invention Playhouse

March 3rd, 2011

Hi!  It’s Thursday, March 3, 2011 and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:
Invention at Play

Age Range: All  (young children and non-readers may need assistance)

The Smithsonian National Museum of American History sponsors this website that gives children the chance to virtually explore different elements of invention through playful activities that simulate the creative processes used by innovators in science and technology.  These games and interactives have no competition and no score board. The whole point is to explore and be creative!

This online adjunct to a museum exhibit, focuses on the similarities between the ways children and adults play, and “departs from traditional representations of inventors as extraordinary geniuses who are ‘not like us‚’ to celebrate the creative skills and processes that are familiar and accessible to all people.”

When you get to the site you will see the four activities listed below:

*Cloud Dreamer – Bend, pull and push the cloud shape into unique forms before releasing it into the sky.
*Puzzle Blocks – Can you make the same shape that’s pictured from the various blocks?

*Tinker Ball – How many contraptions can you get to work in unison and still guide the ball into its home?

*Word Play – Continue the sentences left by other players before you.

The activities here are designed to help promote exploration/tinkering, make believe/visual thinking, social play/collaboration and puzzle play/problem solving.

That’s because (as explained at the website) when inventors were asked what inspires them, “many tell stories about playing as children. Among their most frequently cited childhood play experiences are: mechanical tinkering, fiddling with construction toys, reflecting about nature, and drawing or engaging in visual modeling. There is something about the skills fostered by play that inventors value and keep using as part of their working lives.”



Diane Flynn Keith
for ClickSchooling

Bubble Wrap Social Sciences

February 24th, 2011

Hi!  It’s Thursday, February 24, 2011 and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:
Bubble Wrap Fun

Age Range:  All (with parental supervision)

Everything in life presents an opportunity to learn. Rather than relying on textbooks, look at anything in your environment and with a minimal amount of research, you’ll discover it contains an interesting history with cross-curricular connections.

Today’s website from the Sealed Air Corporation, the company that manufactures Bubble Wrap, is a case in point. You may have a sheet of bubble wrap somewhere in your house that accompanied an item you ordered by mail. Most kids love to pop it. And if you take just a minute to look it up on the web, you’ll discover all kinds of information about it – both fun and informative.

At today’s website, you’ll learn about the history of Bubble Wrap, meet the inventors, discover many uses for the stuff beyond packing material, and get an opportunity to virtually pop Bubble Wrap online. Fun!

When you get to the site you’ll see a menu that includes:

*Fun & Games – Virtually pop bubble wrap, discover your Bubble Wrap personality type, and take a “pop” quiz to test your knowledge of Bubble Wrap. (Some links go to other websites, so parents please preview to determine suitability.)

*Pop Pix – See pictures of people and their Bubble Wrap inventions collected on Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day (January 31st annually). This stuff is a cultural phenomenon! Get inspired to create your own Bubble Wrap inventions.

*1001 Uses – See a list of ways to use Bubble Wrap including as a costume, cup holder, seat cushion, liners for Easter baskets, pop-able place mat, insulation, and much more!

*Bubble Stuff – Learn the history of Bubble Wrap, meet the inventors, and find out how Bubble Wrap is made.

You’ll also find Bubble Wrap products to purchase along with links to other
sites where you can virtually pop Bubble Wrap.

And if you want more ideas, just type in “bubble wrap lesson plans” on a search engine like Google — and see what pops up! You’ll find sites that explain how Bubble Wrap is made, lots of funny methods and etiquette for popping Bubble Wrap, more online games, and even a book devoted to interesting and fun things to do with Bubble Wrap. This is a unit study waiting to happen. :)



Diane Flynn Keith
for ClickSchooling