Famous Scientists and Inventors for Kids

I have always wanted to do a scientist research project but always felt overwhelmed with narrowing down famous scientists for my 6th graders. When I first decided I was going to do this project, I literally searched “Famous Scientists” on Google. No surprise to anyone, 99% of the scientists listed were white males who were not alive. My very first lesson of the year was the “What does a scientist look like?” lesson. I was not about to have my students do a research project on these scientists. I really wanted a diverse list of scientists and inventors. I also wanted scientists that my students would actually be interested in and want to learn more about! 

This is where I asked Instagram for help! I could not have created this list without the help of everyone else! The scientists and inventors listed below have invented Minecraft, GimKit, are kid scientists, scientists they may have seen on social media, and many more! 

Famous Scientists and Inventors for Kids:

  • Elon Musk (Co-founder of Tesla & SpaceX)
  • Emily Calandrelli (Host of Emily’s Wonder Lab on Netflix)
  • Jane Goodall (Primatologist)
  • Dasia Taylor (Inventor of color changing sutures)
  • Mae C. Jemison (1st Black female astronaut in space)
  • Lonnie Johnson (Inventor of the Super Soaker)
  • Kizzmekia Corbett (Helped design Moderna vaccine)
  • Steve Jobs (Co-founder of Apple)
  • Peter Tsai (Invented N95 mask)
  • Tim Berners-Lee (Invented the World Wide Web)
  • Kimberly Bryant (Founded Black Girls Code)
  • Markus Persson (Invented Minecraft)
  • Temple Grandin (American scientist & behaviourist)
  • Dean Kamen (Invented the Segway)
  • Katherine Johnson (Helped put astronaut into orbit)
  • Fiona Wood (Invented spray on skin)
  • Mark Rober (YouTuber, former NASA engineer)
  • Shane Chen (Invented the Hoverboard)
  • Mark Zuckerberg (Co-founder of Facebook/Instagram)
  • Sylvia Earle (Marine biologist)
  • Josh Feinsilber (Developed Gimkit)
  • Leland Melvin (NASA astronaut, NFL player)
  • Gitanjali Rao (Kid inventor & scientist)
  • Theo and Ora Coster (Invented Pop It)
  • Mayim Bialik (Neuroscientist, actress in The Big Bang Theory)
  • Raven Baxter (Dr. Raven the Science Maven)
  • Zhang Yiming (Founded Tiktok)
  • Hayat Sindi (Saudi Arabian medical scientist)
  • Ellen Ochoa (1st Hispanic woman to travel to space)
  • Alyssa Carson (@nasablueberry, Projected to go to Mars in 2020)
  • Wolf Cukier (Discovered a new planet on his 3rd day as a NASA intern)

I also created these Google Slides you can purchase. I am using these slides to introduce the project to my students! The slides are completely editable so you can add your own scientists to the list as well! I also included a worksheet for the students to fill out as they are learning about the scientists & inventors. I actually plan on printing the Google Slides and hanging them around the classroom. It will be like a scavenger hunt for the scientists and they will complete the worksheet as they walk around the classroom!

As for the research project, it honestly isn’t 100% done yet. This week the students will narrow down their choice for what scientist or inventor they want to do. We will also have a mini lesson on reliable/credible sources & gather basic information about their scientist. Then next week my idea is for the students to create Social Media Scientists. I made Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, & Twitter templates. The students will act like their scientist and create fake social media accounts. Hopefully that will be posted to Teachers Pay Teachers this week 🙂 


Other great resources for diverse scientists:

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