Inventors, Makers, Barrier Breakers

(1 customer review)


What does it take to change the world? This book provides inspiring, in-depth stories of more than 25 diverse American inventors and entrepreneurs from Colonial times to the present. Richly illustrated with photographs in color and black-and-white, Inventors, Makers, Barrier Breakers focuses on the process of invention, its joys and frustrations, social progress, and the obstacles each inventor had to overcome.

Author: Pendred Noyce
Age Range : 12+
Grades: 7+
SKU: N/A Category: Product ID: 15987

Book Details:

  • ISBN: Hardcover: 9781943431427/Paperback: 9781943431434
  • Genre: Children's Nonfiction/Science & Nature/Biography
  • Page Count: 300
  • Age Range: 12+
  • Grades: 7+
  • Lexile Level: 1030
  • Pub Date: 01/10/2018


Pendred (Penny) Noyce is a doctor, educator, and writer. She grew up in California, completed a degree in biochemistry at Harvard and a medical degree at Stanford, and did her residency in internal medicine in Minnesota. She then moved to the Boston area, where she practiced at a community health center for several years. In 1991, she helped establish the Noyce Foundation in honor of her father, Robert Noyce, co-inventor of the integrated circuit and co-founder of Intel. The foundation focuses on improving K-12 education, particularly in mathematics and science. From 1993-2002, Penny helped lead a statewide math and science improvement effort called PALMS in the state of Massachusetts. She gradually withdrew from medical practice to focus on her education work and on raising her five children. She has served on the boards of numerous non-profits, including most recently the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, the Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy, TERC, the Libra Foundation of Maine, the Concord Consortium, and the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications.

As her older children set off for college, Penny began writing for middle-grade children. Her first two novels for children, Lost in Lexicon: An Adventure in Words and Numbers, and The Ice Castle: An Adventure in Music are published by Scarletta Press. As well as chairing Tumblehome Learning’s board, Penny serves as the editorial lead for our Galactic Academy of Science series of science mysteries. Tumblehome Learning represents a convergence of Penny’s interests in science, education, and great writing for kids.

Penny loves to travel, ski, ride horses, and explore islands.

“This collection profiles both famous and lesser-known American inventors, entrepreneurs, and scientists from the 18th century to the present day, covering the social and historical contexts of their work. Among the well-known individuals included are Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Graham Bell, and George Washington Carver. Women given chapters of their own are: Annie Turnbo Malone and Madam C.J. Walker, who made millions thanks to their African-American hair care products and business initiatives; Gertrude Elion, the Nobel Prize-winning scientist and daughter of Jewish immigrants; Grace Hopper, who broke barriers both in the Navy and the world of computer programming; and Lydia Villa-Komaroff, a scientist of Indigenous and Latinx descent who has done groundbreaking work in the treatment of diabetes. Some chapters offer an overview of particular topics, such as the inventions of enslaved and free blacks, food products, and popular games and toys. The most recent inventor covered is Elon Musk. A final section entitled “What About You?” encourages readers to be innovators, explicitly calling attention to the tremendous diversity (across many dimensions) of the individuals profiled…”
– Kirkus Reviews

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