Nine Young People Engineering a Better World with Creative Inventions
Teen Innovators tells the stories of discovery and the inventions of nine young students.
For example, twelve-year-old Gitanjali Rao, appalled by the tragedy in Flint, Michigan, found a cheaper, more effective way to test for lead in drinking water. Four undocumented teenagers from an underfunded high school in Phoenix built an underwater robot from spare and found parts. Substituting hard work and creative thinking for money and expensive equipment, they won a national robotics competition, beating a well-funded team from MIT. At fifteen, William Kamkwamba used materials from junkyards near his home in Malawai to build a windmill to generate electricity and pump water for his village.
While each profile tells a different story, the reader soon sees the common threads of determination and ingenuity. Stories include:
- Jack Andraka: improved pancreatic cancer test
- Gitanjali Rao: device to detect lead in drinking water
- William Kamkwamba: improvised electrical generator using windmill in Malawi
- Austen Veseliza: digital display glove to aid people with speech impairment
- Deepika Kurup: easier, cheaper method to remove toxins from drinking water
- Cristian Arcega, Lorenzo Santillan, Oscar Vasquez, Luis Aranda: underwater robot
- Awards & Reviews
- Authors, Illustrators & Photographers
- eSource: Free Teaching Guides
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|Interest Level||Grade 5 - Grade 9|
|Reading Level||Grade 6|
|Genre||Science, Young Adult|
|Category||5 Kinds of Nonfiction, 5KN: Narrative Nonfiction, SEL: C Social Awareness, SEL: E Responsible Decision-Making, Social Emotional Learning, STEM, STEM: Engineering|
|Publisher||Lerner Publishing Group|
|Imprint||Zest Books ™|
|Number of Pages||208|
“The rich variety of individuals and projects highlighted will encourage budding scientists. A compelling read for teens interested in the STEM fields and an inspirational resource for science classrooms.”—Kirkus Reviews
“While all faced challenges, these teens forged ahead toward their visions with creative confidence. Design thinking and other creative problem-solving skills may help you, too, unleash your own inspiration. Fred’s book does a great job of getting you started on your journey.” –David Kelley, founder of Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford and IDEO, co-author of Creative Confidence
Author: Fred Estes
Fred Estes taught science for nearly two decades in a school near his home in San Francisco. He's written several articles about science teaching, including "Compost: The Rot Thing for Our Earth" and he is a peer reviewer for a National Science Teaching Association journal. Before that, he taught high school English, worked as a financial analyst, joined an AI startup, developed corporate training programs, and earned a doctorate in educational psychology and technology. Currently, he teaches graduate students and teachers about design thinking, innovation, creative teaching methods, and hands-on-STEM curriculum.
Lerner eSource™ offers free digital teaching and learning resources, including Common Core State Standards (CCSS) teaching guides. These guides, created by classroom teachers, offer short lessons and writing exercises that give students specific instruction and practice using Common Core skills and strategies. Lerner eSource also provides additional resources including online activities, downloadable/printable graphic organizers, and additional educational materials that would also support Common Core instruction. Download, share, pin, print, and save as many of these free resources as you like!
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