Sanity Saver: George Washington Carver’s Inventions

By: Dan Walsh
STEM Educator

George Washington Carver was an inventor, environmentalist, and a professor. Carver was a professor of Agriculture at the Tuskegee Institute which is now known as Tuskegee University. While teaching Carver created over 300 different uses for the peanut. For today’s experiment, we will be using Carver as an inspiration as we try to create our own inventions from supplies we have around the house. When scientists invent new things they go through a list of steps called the invention process. Follow the steps below to create your own invention. 


Random collection of materials you find around the house


10 minutes

Academic Subject(s):


ETS1.A: Defining Engineering Problems- Possible solutions to a problem are limited by available materials and resources (constraints) 


 STEP 1 First, think of a problem. 
STEP 2 Look at all of the supplies you have collected. Try to think of a way to solve the problem with the supplies you have. 
STEP 3 Next we will brainstorm as many ways to solve the problem as you can. 
STEP 4 Using the supplies in your bag, build one of your inventions. 
STEP 5 Once your invention is finished, test your invention out. 
STEP 6 If your invention does not work the first time, don’t get frustrated. Try to tinker with your experiment until it works. 
STEP 7 Finally show your invention to your friends and family. 

Vocabulary Words

 INVENTION: The first time something has been built. 
INNOVATION: When a scientist tinkers on an invention and makes it better. 
AGRICULTURE: The science or practice of farming. 

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Storytime: Mr. Will Reads Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep!

Thanks to the generous support of Mother Cabrini Health Foundation for making this Storytime possible.

Mr. Will reads Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep! written by Maureen Wright and illustrated by Will Hillenbrand. It’s time for Big Bear to hibernate, so Old Man Winter keeps telling him: “Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep.” But Big Bear doesn’t hear very well. He thinks Old Man Winter has told him to drive a jeep, to sweep, and to leap. Big Bear just can’t seem to hear what Old Man Winter is saying. Finally, Old Man Winter finds a noisy way to get Big Bear’s attention.

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Sanity Saver: Mancala Craft

By: Will Kawalec
Lead educator

Presented by BankOnBuffalo

In this lesson we will learning and creating the game of Mancala. Mancala was created in Africa around 1300 years ago! It is one of the world’s oldest known games. It came to America in the minds of enslaved African slaves and immigrants, and is still played today!

Download a printable PDF of this lesson here!


Game instruction sheet.
48 of the same pieces, anything can be used marbles, stones, candies, coins, or whatever you decide!
Egg carton
Glue (hot glue preferred)


Set up: 2 Minutes
Creating Game Board: 3-5 minutes
Gameplay: 10-20 minutes

Academic Subject(s):

VA: CR 1.2. 1,2,3a
VA: PR 5. 1,2,3a
Social Studies
K.3a, b, 1.1b, c, 1.2a, 2.2b, 3.4a, 3.8a
This lesson supports Kindergarten to Fourth Grade:
This lesson supports areas of Elementary Education.

This is not only a fun craft, but an educational one, parents, teachers, or caregivers, can not only facilitate this project as an art craft but also use it to inform children about games, sportsmanship, and rule-following. As
well as giving them some background on this game!

Directions for Game Creation:

Step 1: take your egg carton and cut off the flap with scissors.
Step 2: cut the top into thirds (you can toss the middle portion)
Step 3: glue the cut pieces to the base of the egg holder portion, this step should create two ‘baskets’ at the
end of the carton.
Step 4: place 4 game pieces in each of the holes, while none in the ‘baskets.’
Step 5: read the instructions and play Mancala!

Vocabulary Words

Board Game: any game played on a board, especially one that involves the movement of pieces on the board.
Instructions: detailed information telling how something should be done, in this case playing Mancala.

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