1. Think about some of the inventions created by African Americans. Explain how your life would be different without some of these inventions.
Students answers will vary. Some of the inventions they may mention are the traffic signal, gas mask, carbon filament for electric light bulbs, truck refrigeration system, a system for cutting and fitting dresses, and an adapter that allowed silent film projectors to show "talking" motion pictures.
2. Why is it important for an inventor/scientist to have qualities such as curiosity and the ability to work hard to make something "work"?
Without a sense of curiosity, a person would likely not explore new ideas and ways to create something new. Persistence is also key for inventors/scientists to find a solution to make something work. Very rarely does something work with the first attempt. Failures often help drive people to find a new solution and make something better.
3. Why do you think it's important for inventors to obtain patents?
Patents are issued by the Department of Commerce and protect the inventor's ideas. Without patents, other people or companies could steal one's ideas or inventions and make money off of them.