Thinking Outside of the Toy Box: 4 Children's Gizmos that Inspired Scientific Breakthroughs

In an article from Scientific American, author Sandra A. Swanson explores how brilliant minds from across the nation reach back to childhood toys to help develop tiny transistors, study particle separation, make micro-fluidics devices and fight cancer.

Advances in science and technology can launch from unassuming springboards. In 1609, Galileo tweaked a toy-like spyglass, pointed it at the moon and Jupiter (not the neighbors), and astronomy took a quantum leap. About 150 years later, Benjamin Franklin reportedly used a kite to experiment with one of the earliest-known electrical capacitors. Continuing that tradition, these researchers prove toys inspire more than child's play.

To read more on how Etch a Sketch, Legos, Shrinky Dinks and Balloon within a Balloon have inspired scientific breakthroughs, click here.


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