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Inventing Tomorrow Today

Throughout human history, curious people have invented ways to make life easier to live. Ben Franklin was one of those forward thinkers who helped to improve the quality of life in America. Thomas Edison patented over a thousand inventions. Every day, people work to find better ways to do the things we need to do.

One person who thought of a better way is Jack St. Clair Kilby. Kilby's inventions have truly revolutionized the way human beings think, communicate, and live. His "integrated circuit," known today as the microchip, launched the computer age. Try to imagine life without one of his other inventions: the hand held calculator. Born in Jefferson City, Missouri on November 8, 1923, Kilby now holds patents on sixty inventions. In 1970, he received the National Medal of Science. In 1982, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Today, he consults for government and industry.

Think of some fictional inventors. Television and movies tend to make fun of inventors, portraying them as quacks. Doc Brown in "Back to The Future" and the Dad in "Honey, I Shrunk The Kids" are two examples. In reality, inventors are ordinary people who think in extraordinary ways.

Some of the best natural inventors are kids. Each year, contests are held to encourage kids to come up with creative ideas. Today's young inventors are shaping our tomorrow.


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