Posts Tagged ‘inventors’

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

Virtual Field Trip to Drive a Zamboni!

December 3rd, 2010

Hi!  It’s Friday, December 3, 2010 and time for a Virtual Field Trip at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Age Range: All 

What’s a Zamboni? It’s the massive vehicle that cleans and grooms the ice at skating rinks. It was named after the inventor, Frank J. Zamboni. At this website you can virtually drive a Zamboni for free! Just watch the video that puts you in the driver’s seat of a Zamboni (model 552) for about 10 minutes!

Then, look at the menu on the left of the screen that says “Fun Stuff“.  If you click on “How the Machine Works” you’ll see an illustration with text that explains how the machinery inside the Zamboni works. Use the menu on the left of that screen to click on “Animation” to see the inner workings in action.

When you’re through with the fun stuff, use the horizontal menu at the top of the screen and click on “Home.” Then, click on the icon containing a picture of Frank Zamboni to learn “The Zamboni Story.”  It’s inspiring for all would-be inventors!

Great Inventions & Inventors Interactives

October 1st, 2009

Recommended Website:
ThinkQuest: Greatest Inventions

Age Range: 10-18 (about middle school and high school level)

ClickScholar Wendy suggested this website that traces the path of man through history via the “Greatest Inventions” of all time. As Wendy wrote, “It’s chock-full of timelines, quotes and other cool stuff!” And it includes descriptions of the great inventions as well as biographies of the inventors.

When you click on the url above, you will land on the “Site Map” for this website. It gives you a quick overview of what’s available and I found it to be the easiest way to navigate my way through 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 the 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 “Guided Tour” of the site, as it gives you a birds-eye-view of what you can learn here.


History of Innovative Inventions

June 11th, 2009

Recommended Website:
The Great Idea Finder

Age Range: 9 and up (with parental guidance)

This website provides an amazing historical archive of innovative consumer products for students, teachers, and anyone interested in the history, invention, and development of things we use every day. The idea is to inspire the “inventor” in all of us.

When you get to the site click on “Enter” and a new page opens featuring selected highlights. Use the menu on the left side of the page that includes:

  • First Time Visitors – Get an introduction to what is available on the site.
  • History Facts & Myths – Read some fascinating stories about inventions, read inventor biographies, explore the innovation timeline, and more.
  • Idea Showcase – “From alarm clocks to electronics, fashion to home safety, office products to Web tools” you’ll enjoy this showcase of the best and most innovative ideas.
  • Features – Which inventions were the result of an accident? What is the history of ordinary things like piggy banks, candy canes and printed books? Who were the inventors behind the products? What inventions provided breakthroughs for civilization? You’ll find the answers here.
  • Resource Center – Get recommendations for further learning about inventions and innovative products including links to websites, a bibliography, a list of movies and programs about inventors, a listing of contests, programs, and camps for young inventors and more. Some of these resources are available for purchase.
  • History Articles – Read in-depth articles about inventors and their inventions.

Bookmark this site to explore inventions in agriculture, chemistry, communications, computing, apparel, food and drink, household items, toys and games, healthcare, transportation, and much, much more!


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