May 06

radio telescope Photo Credit: Clipart.com

Today in Science

National Inventors Month

It's hard to imagine when looking at objects you've seen every day of your life, like light bulbs and staplers and forks, that someone was the very first person to come up with the idea for it. And, yet, these objects didn't just appear out of thin air. Someone saw a problem, and, through brainstorming and (usually lots of) trial and error, came up with a solution to it. Or they took someone else's invention and saw a way to make it even better. Without improvements to existing objects, after all, we'd still be driving around in cars that could go no faster than 25 miles per hour or reading papyrus scrolls rather than computer screens!

May is National Inventors Month, designated to honor innovation and creativity. The month-long celebration kicked off with the annual inductions into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. The 15 inductees in 2018 include people who invented Lycra (also known as spandex); an aerodynamic antenna that conforms to the shape of a projectile (useful for rockets, missiles, and spacecrafts); a tissue typing test for organ transplants; an environmentally safe clean-up technology used first by NASA and now by private industry, including dry cleaners and dye manufacturers; and sports broadcasting graphic enhancements (including that yellow line used in football games on tv to show where the next down will be).

Science NetLinks can help you get started with some resources on inventors and inventing:

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