Drawing Latimer’s Legacy into the Tinkering Lab

By PJ Gubatina Policarpio

Photo Mar 20, 4 19 30 PM

Kids looking at Lewis Latimer’s work and some drafting tools

At the Tinker Lab, we take pride in honoring Lewis H. Latimer’s great legacy and contributions to science, technology, and American life through hands-on projects that combine art and science education for our partners and community members.

This March, it is all about SHAPES at the Tinker Lab. We are inspired by Lewis H. Latimer himself, whom we know was an expert draftsman. The outstanding skill of drafting made him an especially great innovator and inventor and valuable collaborator for Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell.

Our goal was to create designs made entirely of simple geometric shapes.

Designs inspired by shapes in Latimer's drafts

Designs inspired by shapes in Latimer’s drafts

To do this, we first looked at some of the patents and drafts that Latimer drew to see if we could find and recognize shapes to get our discussion going. The students immediately recognized various shapes and patterns from Latimer’s drafts and began thinking about their own designs and the shapes they will need.

Discovering geometric shapes in Latimer's draft for light bulb

Discovering geometric shapes in Latimer’s draft for light bulb

Interaction in Tinkering Lab

Interactions in Tinkering Lab

In the end, students were able to decide on a design or pattern they wanted to create and think about and problem solve how to realize those designs using the geometric shapes we found and discussed.

Kids tinkering away at Latimer House

Kids working with geometric shapes

Collage of shapes

Collage of shapes


2 responses

  1. Love the integration of arts and science happening here! Breaking down scientific drawings or drafts into basic geometric forms is a great way for kids to explore the design process and think about big concepts through their most basic elements. Kudos to PJ!


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