Interactive Whiteboard Activities
Famous African American Inventors: A Black History in America Activity
Discover famous African Americans whose inventions have changed the worlds of medicine, technology, and transportation.
- Grades: 3–5, 6–8
In this part of Scholastic's Culture and Change: Black History in America online activity, students get to know Famous African American Inventors by reading our slideshow, which includes the following inventors:
- Alexander Miles, who improved the safety of elevators
- Elijah McCoy, the "real McCoy," whose invention allowed trains to run more efficiently
- Lewis Latimer, whose bright invention made the lightbulb more practical
- Jan Ernst Matzeliger, the creator of a shoemaking machine the revolutionized the industry
- Granville T. Woods, the inventor of a train-to-train communication system
- George Washington Carver, an agricultural expert who advised President Theodore Roosevelt
- Madam C. J. Walker, a businesswoman who became one of America's first self-made female millionaires
- Garrett Morgan, the creator of the gas mask and the first traffic signal with three commands
- Dr. Charles Richard Drew, who saved thousands of lives with his invention for improving blood banks
- Otis Boykin, whose work in electronics resulted in a resistor that made electronic devices cheaper and more reliable
- James E. West, who invented microphone technology
- Dr. Patricia Bath, an ophthalmologist whose surgical tool revolutionized eye surgery
- Lonnie G. Johnson, a NASA engineer and the inventor of the world-famous Super Soaker!
- Mark Dean, who co-invented the personal computer
Each inventor's page includes background information, a description of the invention, and a "Did You Know?" fact.