Category Archives: STEM

I like the Montessori Method. It teaches through play. It makes learning a pleasure. It follows the natural instincts of the human being. - Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison Admires Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori, born in 1870, was the first woman in Italy to receive a medical degree. She initially worked in the fields of psychiatry, education and anthropology, eventually concentrating on education in 1907. She was truly a liberated woman, who supposedly even entertained the thought of becoming an engineer.

Maria Montessori (1870-1952)

Her Montessori method of education stressed the development of a child’s own initiative and natural abilities–especially through practical play, and a hands-on, self-paced approach to learning; aimed at inspiring creativity and imagination,  along with  independent thinking [OMG….sounds like today’s STEM!]. This educational paradigm, after a tenuous start and the tumult of World War I, eventually spread over the globe.

Dr. Montessori made her first visit to the United States for a brief lecture tour in 1912. She was given an enthusiastic welcome, including a reception at the White House. She gave her first lecture at Carnegie Hall to overflowing crowds, and stayed at the home of Thomas Edison, who admired her work. In addition, other admirers were Alexander Graham Bell, Helen Keller, Henry Ford, Woodrow Wilson and Mahatma Gandhi. Today, estimates vary widely, but as many as 8,000 Montessori schools flourish in the United States.

Montessori with her beloved children (above and below)

Edison was quoted as saying … ”I like the Montessori method. It teaches through play. It makes learning a pleasure. It follows the natural instincts of the human being … The present system casts the brain into a mold. It does not encourage original thought or reasoning.” This meshes well with Edison’s many career pronouncements about changing the current form of American education to make it more practical. It is worthwhile to note that early markets that Edison envisioned for his phonograph and motion pictures were school classrooms.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Co-founders of Google, have said that Montessori education allowed them to think for themselves. They credit Montessori with allowing them to question what was going on around them and to discover the answers for themselves. Former Montessori students, Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, and Will Wright, inventor of “The Sims” video game series, also credit Montessori for allowing them to ask questions, discover, and learn on their own terms. 

Thomas Edison said, “The world owes nothing to any man, but every man owes something to the world.”

Left: Intel-Edison module now available world-wide for developers. Right: The “Tommy” award given by the Edison Innovation Foundation.
Left: Intel-Edison module now available world-wide for developers. Right: The “Tommy” award given by the Edison Innovation Foundation.
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Thomas Edison Ponders Where the Moon Came From

Recent geochemical studies show that the chemical composition of the Moon is very similar to that of the Earth—that is, the Moon is made up primarily of terrestrial materials rather than materials from the impacting celestial body. The Earth and Moon are like identical twins. No other celestial bodies we know of share this kind of chemical relationship.

In a recent TED talk, Planetary Scientist Sarah T. Stewart discusses how she discovered new kind of astronomical object — a synestia — which presents a new way to look at the mystery of the Moon’s origin.

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Inventors … Start Your Engines! Thomas Edison Pitch Contest–Jan. 12, 2018

Want to see your students in the Spring 2018 winner’s circle to accept an award for their invention and creative pitch at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park [TENHP] in West Orange, NJ? Want them to see the place where America’s fabulous and still vibrant innovation journey began?

First thing you must do is register them to be a part of the 8th annual invention and pitch contest. It all starts on 1/12/18 and this website tells you everything you need to know www.thomasedisonpitch.org.

Here are some of the amazing sights at TENHP they will see if they are one of the final competitors in this national contest.

Edison’s desk where he managed things

Edison’s desk where he managed things

His combination office and library

His combination office and library

First motion picture studio, the Black Maria

First motion picture studio, the Black Maria

Edison’s legendary machine shop

Edison’s legendary machine shop

Give your students a chance to experience team based innovation, just like Edison pioneered in his invention factory and R&D lab. This is exactly what STEM is all about. Inspire those young minds in your classroom. Maybe someday, like Edison, they will change the world.

I’ll be waiting for you at TENHP!

I’ll be waiting for you at TENHP!

Thomas Edison said, “The world owes nothing to any man, but every man owes something to the world.”

Left: Intel-Edison module now available world-wide for developers. Right: The “Tommy” award given by the Edison Innovation Foundation.

Left: Intel-Edison module now available world-wide for developers. Right: The “Tommy” award given by the Edison Innovation Foundation.

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Thomas Edison Pitch Contest–Jan. 12, 2018

Since 2011, thousands of middle and high school students across the nation took the challenge and competed for honors and prizes … all in the spirit of the world’s greatest inventor … Thomas Edison. On January 12, 2018, the 8th annual pitch contest begins.

Check out the happy faces of student teams honored over the years in this sampling of photos shown below. Can you see your students standing to receive honors when the pitch contest concludes in the Spring of 2018!

Check out the video containing contest rules/timeline at www.thomasedisonpitch.org.

Our other social media sites will also announce the big contest at:

Give your students a chance to experience team based innovation, just like Edison pioneered in his invention factory and R&D lab. This is exactly what STEM is all about. Stay tuned and get those young minds primed and ready to show their stuff. Make Edison proud … join in the fun! Put January 12th on your calendar in big bold letters. Start the countdown. It will be here before you know it.

Thomas Edison said, “The world owes nothing to any man, but every man owes something to the world.”

Left: Intel-Edison module now available world-wide for developers. Right: The “Tommy” award given by the Edison Innovation Foundation.

Left: Intel-Edison module now available world-wide for developers. Right: The “Tommy” award given by the Edison Innovation Foundation.

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