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  • Writer's pictureDavid Jack

Lighting Up Young Minds: Famous American Inventors - Thomas Edison

When we hear about American inventors like Thomas Edison, images of the iconic light bulb immediately flash before our eyes. But there's so much more to this legendary figure, as elementary school students across various schools discovered through the TIME-TRAVELING INVENTORS assembly program.

This unique school assembly doesn't simply tell stories of great inventors like Thomas Edison, but instead, through the magic of time travel (and 3D animation), actually brings Edison himself into the classroom, offering a new and unforgettable interactive and educational experience that appeals to children in kindergarten through 6th grade.

The program hears from Thomas Edison not just as an inventor but as a curious child, much like his audience, who was fascinated by the world around him. Born more than 175 years ago in Milan, Ohio, he tells stories of how his journey into inventing began with a simple curiosity and a knack for understanding how things worked. Without the distractions of modern toys, he made his own entertainment by taking apart everyday objects to see their inner workings, laying the groundwork for his future as one of the foremost American inventors, Thomas Edison.

Edison's first major invention, a device to record votes, came when he was just 21. However, it was his work on the light bulb that would etch his name into history.

Our inventor assembly program skillfully dispels the myth of the light bulb's singular inventor, showcasing instead Edison's critical role in developing a practical and durable filament. This breakthrough made electric lighting safe, reliable, and accessible, transforming how people illuminated their homes and streets.

The program doesn't stop at the light bulb. It delves into Edison's invention of the phonograph, a device that could record and play back sound, predating any modern concept of audio playback.

Similarly, Edison's contributions to early motion pictures are explored, highlighting his invention of the kinetograph. Through these examples, students learn that Edison's genius spanned far beyond a single invention, encompassing a range of innovations that fundamentally changed entertainment and communication.

What truly sets the  TIME-TRAVELING INVENTORS assembly apart is its interactive format, which includes humor, audience participation, and even funny virtual characters. This approach not only makes the content more engaging for young learners but also more memorable. By portraying Edison's challenges and triumphs in an entertaining manner, the program inspires students to appreciate the perseverance and creativity behind inventing.

The assembly demystifies the concept of "patents" by explaining it as a government document that recognizes an individual's invention. This segment underscores the importance of protecting intellectual property and encourages students to think about their own ideas in a new light. (No pun intended :-)

Thomas Edison famously said, "Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration." This message resonates throughout the school assembly, emphasizing that success in inventing, as in life, requires hard work, dedication, and, most importantly, the courage to try. The program concludes on a humorous note with Edison joking about inventing "homework", leaving the students laughing but also pondering the endless possibilities of their own inventiveness.

By integrating the story of famous American inventors like Thomas Edison into a school assembly, the "Time-Traveling Inventors" program not only educates but also motivates students. It shows them that curiosity, perseverance, and the willingness to experiment are the real keys to innovation. Through the interactive and immersive experience, students are encouraged to see themselves as potential inventors who might one day light up the world with their ideas, just as Edison did with his.

TIME-TRAVELING INVENTORS is now available for booking through Visit for complete show information and availability. Your students will love you for it!

*this post has been updated for accuracy

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