Guest post by Brittany Leddy, marketing and publicity manager at Klutz
This year at Toy Fair, we’ll be launching a new line of STEM-based activity kits called Klutz Maker Lab, and we can't wait to see what you all create! Working on Klutz Maker Lab, we've done a lot of thinking about the makers—both past and present—who have shaped our technology, art and culture. In celebration of Black History Month, we've decided to spotlight African-American makers all month long! From inventors and doctors to artists and filmmakers, each one of these amazing individuals has shaped the world we live in, and show that a little tenacity and an insatiable curiosity are all you need to be a good maker!
With only a sixth-grade education, Garrett Morgan set out from his home in rural Kentucky to Cleveland, Ohio to find work. He soon started working in a textile factory, and was fascinated by how the machines work. With his mechanical genius he was soon promoted and became an adjuster, fixing mechanical problems and making improvements. Taking what he’d learned at the textile factory, Morgan opened his own repair shop and clothing business with his wife. This business was just the start of Morgan’s empire. He later went on to create a cosmetics business, founded a newspaper called The Cleveland Call, and continued to invent on the side.
Dr. Mae Jemison
When she was just 16, Mae Jemison was torn between going to Stanford in the fall to become a doctor or to become a professional dancer. She eventually decided to pursue science, but her love of dance never stopped—she even brought a poster from her dance school on her space mission!