Name of Collection: Inventions and New Technology

School Name: Irwin Altman Middle School 172

Address: 81-14 257th Street Floral Park, NY 11004

Phone: 718-831-4000; 718-343-2990

Fax: 718-831-4008

Librarian: Margaret Borger

Librarian's e-mail:


The study of Inventions and New Technology is an interdisciplinary inquiry spanning all human history from the innovations of our neolithic ancestors to the unimagined frontiers of the 21st century. It documents the growth of technology, the ideas and innovations that have improved human existence from the earliest tools of hunting and agriculture; through the great contributions of the early civilizations; to the industrial revolution with its consequences of good and evil; to the modern, postindustrial world of emerging technologies.

Research can follow the development of a particular invention; or life and work of an individual inventor,;r study the innovations of a particular era or culture ;or plot the development of an aspect of technology (Ex: transportation over time.) Another approach is examining the scientific principles involved in the invention or technology. The sociological aspects of inventions and how they affect and change society is equally important and included in the scope of the collection.

Questions for Inquiry:

How was the telephone invented ? (for example)
Examine the life and work of Alexander Graham Bell.
How did the invention of the telephone change society?
Where does the telephone fit in the history of communication?
How has the telephone evolved and what are the latest modifications?


Inventions, discoveries, by individual invention, patents- U.S. Patent Office by time period:
Ancient Inventions, Stone Age; Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece & Rome; Ancient China and India, Renaissance
Scientific Discoveries; Industrial Revolution in Europe, in United States ; Electric Age, Computer Age
New Technologies: Cloning, Forensics, Biotechnology; Robotics, Nanotechnology, Artificial Intelligence
Inventors: individual inventors, i.e. Leonardo daVinci, Thomas Edison, Karl Benz, Michael Faraday, Orville and Wilbur Wright
Types of inventors: Women Inventors; African American Inventors, Child/Teenage Inventors
Timelines of Inventions
Development of Technology/Innovations in: Communications Transportation Warfare Everyday Life Entertainment Medicine

Subject Headings: Inventors, Inventions, Technology

Dewey Decimal Classification(s): 333, 355, 384, 387,509, 600, 608,609, 629, 683, 688; 920, Biography;

Key Books-see the MS 172 library website for Invention & New Technology special collection list in Categories Section

Bridgman, Roger. 1000 Inventions & Discoveries. London: DK Books, 2002.
Carlisle, Rodney. Scientific American Inventions and Discoveries. NY: John Wiley, 2004
Harrison, Ian. National Geographic Book of Inventions. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2004.
Eureka!: Scientific Discoveries & Inventions that have Shaped Our World, 6 Vol. UXL, 1995
Inventions & Inventors, 10 vol. Grolier, 2003
Ancient Technology, 8 vols. Runestone Press, 2000.


The Emperor’s Nightingale, Hans Christian Andersen (man made vs. nature)
John Henry, American Folklore; (man vs. machine)
science fiction.

Magazine Articles

• Print:

NY Times technology news, Popular Science, Scientific American, American Heritage Invention and Technology

• Online:

these sources are also online

Databases: SIRS Discoverer; Gale Student Resource Center

Web Sites: Factmonster Invention Connection Timelines of Inventions Smithsonian Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation NASA New Technologies Time's Best Inventions of the Year Black Inventors A-Z Lemelson-MIT Invention Dimension Smith College's Museum of Ancient Inventions


Schlessinger Inventors of the World 12 DVD set
How Stuff Works

Community Resources:

Queens Borough Public Library
U.S. Patent Office

Curriculum Standards Related to This Topic:

ELA 1 -Language for Information and Understanding- Students will read, write, and speak for information and understanding.
ELA3 - Language for Critical Analysis and Understanding Students will read, write and speak for critical analysis and evaluation.
MST6 - Interconnectedness and Common Themes Students will understand the common themes connecting math, science and technology and apply them to these and other areas of learning.

*An asterisk next to material indicates that it is recommended in this subject area but not available in this CCD collection.

2009 Focus on New Technology
ENERGY. Energy sources have changed throughout the centuries of human civilization. The Industrial Age reliance on fossil fuels (oil, gas & coal) is coming to an end. Climate change and global warming seem to be the result of the last 200 years use of these sources. New "green" energy sources must be developed, but when will they be widely available and cost effective enough to be used to support the sophisticated global economy that we enjoy. Solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and other renewable energy sources will become the mainstay of the new economy. Conservation and innovation are necessary to have a smooth transition, as well as continuing the use of fossil fuels. This is a time of major change and all students should be aware of our energy needs and energy future.

2010-2011 Focus on Inventors
MS 172 has been promoting the use of non fiction biographies and memoirs to connect content area subjects of science and social studies to the ELA curriculum and memoir writing and science observational notebook tasks. The CCD Collection of Inventions and New Technology has been supplemented with titles on individual and collective biographies and autobiographies including: Women, African American, and Teen Inventors, picture book biographies of inventors such as the Day Glo Brothers and Snowflake Bentley.

2011 Leonardo da Vinci-Inventions of the Renaissance
Social studies curriculum for the 6th grade European History includes studies of the Renaissance. Core teachers and librarian focused on the works of the great Leonardo with a multidisciplinary approach including science and observation of nature, biomimicry, such as Leonardo's study of birds and proto flying machines. Math and engineering involved in design of military and engineering projects, like canals and proto tanks and machine guns. Many of Leonardo's plans were never developed because technology was not advanced enough. Hands-on projects and creating notebooks were part of the PBL features of this unit.

2012- Consequences of Inventions PROs and CONs Creating Arguments using Common Core Standard bundles.
What are the prices and pitfalls of PROGRESS. Students in groups looked at inventions and innovations from past, present and perhaps the future. What have we gained from the invention of...the telephone.. the computer...the automobile and what have we lost or what unintended CONSEQUENCES have occurred? --lack of privacy, pollution, climate change. Students must research and develop arguments showing the results of innovation.
Future topics: Human body as invention: Will medical advances in cloning, prosthetics, robotics, etc. make the human organism obsolete?

2013- Top Inventions of the Industrial Revolution
This unit's instructional outcome is to have students be able to create an argument demonstrating why their invention had had an impact on society. Using the text, Top 100 Inventions, students selected a Top 10 Invention and researched its impact using multiple sources-print and e-texts, encyclopedias and recommended websites. They wrote notes, created a labeled diagram of the invention and created a bibliography in MLA format before writing their final essay.Students selected important communication devices such as radio, telephone, telegraph, and television and major transportation innovations such as the steam engine and locomotive, internal combustion engine and the automobile, airplane and rocet.

2014-Future Inventions and Technology Leaders of Today.
Students selected inventions of the digital age and the companies that are innovating today. Students selected major inventions of the 19th and 20th centuries and found how they have been updated and improved; such as Bell's telephone and today's cell phone technology. They researched important technology leaders of today such as the late Steve Jobs and Apple, Bill Gates and Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Twitter and the rise of social media. They found emerging

fields such as nanotechnology, driverless cars, drones and other innovations that a few years ago seemed to be merely Science Fiction.