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STEM Activities

STEM Activity: Innovative Thanksgiving Trivia

Gather your friends and family together for Thanksgiving, and spend time exploring how inventors have improved our everyday lives.


Materials Needed


At-Home Instructions

  1. Print out the trivia cards.
  2. Shuffle the cards into a single deck and have participants take turns drawing from the stack.
  3. The person who draws the card should read it aloud to the rest of the group and keep the answer hidden.
  4. Make this a collaborative experience by encouraging everyone to work together to try and provide the answer for each card.
  5. Once the group has a response, the correct answer should be shared.
  6. After each card is complete, encourage a group discussion about how each invention noted in the cards has made life better for people around the world. What inventions are your participants most grateful for?


What are we exploring?

As our lives become increasingly busy, meeting regularly with friends and family is an event that occurs much less often than we would like. The Thanksgiving holiday is a special occasion because it encourages people to come together and spend precious time catching up and exploring things they are grateful for. Because inventors are the “silent giants” of our society, it is sometimes easy to overlook the impact their work has had on society. The inventions of National Inventors Hall of Fame® Inductees show up in different ways in our everyday tasks and activities, and Thanksgiving gives us the perfect opportunity to reflect on the ways in which innovative ideas have benefitted us all. The stories of diverse, inspiring NIHF Inductees are awe-inspiring and have the power to motivate children and adults alike, making them uplifting topics of discussion during any Thanksgiving gathering.

Below are a few thought-provoking statements from our NIHF trivia cards. You’ll see the answers that correctly fill in each blank when you print them out!

  • If you wore your stretchy pants for post-dinner comfort, be thankful for the innovative mind of NIHF Inductee Joseph Shivers and his invention of ______ fiber.
  • Get ready to dig into dessert with gratitude to NIHF Inductee Norbert Rillieux for transforming ______ from a luxury ingredient to an everyday one through his revolutionary refining process.
  • If you played ambient music while enjoying your pie, that easy listening was due, in part, to the hard work of NIHF Inductee Amar Bose on ______ control.


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