-->
Home Store Project Ideas Project Guide Ask An Expert Blog Careers Teachers Parents Students

Philo Farnsworth: The Student Who Invented TV

| 1 Comment
farnsworth-stamp.gif

Farnsworth invented the TV and landed on a U.S. postal in stamp in 1983. In later years, Farnsworth's widow, Pem, reportedly explained Farnsworth's relationship to the history of TV this way: ''You take Farnsworth's patents out of your TV and you'd have a radio."


Born on August 19, 1906: Philo Farnsworth.


Philo Farnsworth?

A household name? Maybe not.


But if you have a TV in your house, you are using something Farnsworth envisioned as a high school student and spent many years developing. Farnsworth is often referred to as the "inventor" of TV, and his story is fascinating and exciting in terms of what's possible when a young scientist or engineer takes what is available and imagines what may be possible. Farnsworth's early fascination with electricity and his spirit of "what if" is what brought moving images to the screen, but his ideas got their genesis in something much more basic... the lines created when plowing a field.

A biography of Farnsworth posted on the Brigham Young High School website summarizes his vision at age 14 this way: "he dreamed of using a lens to direct light into a glass camera tube, where it could be analyzed in a magnetically deflected beam of electrons, dissected and transmitted one line at a time in a continuous stream." By the age of 21, Farnsworth demonstrated this method of transmission, with a single line, thus creating the first television transmission.

What will you and your students invent, test, question, or discover this year?


Continued Study

Farnsworth's story is one that puts the Engineering Design Process in action. Students with an interest in electronics, engineering, tinkering, and the DIY mentality of inventing, or students who see a problem and have ideas on how something could be developed to solve that problem, can learn more about the steps of the engineering process in the Science Buddies Engineering Design Process guide.

The following books and reference materials may help you learn more about Farnsworth and the development and historical timeline of TV:







1 Comment

This is how curiosity leads to a great invention and now most people all over the world benefit on it.

Amy

Science Buddies Science Activities

Science Buddies and Autodesk for Student STEM Exploration


thumbnail
Highlights and favorite posts from last year on the Science Buddies Blog—great science project overviews, visual spreads that show hands-on science in action, and real-world connections.

thumbnail
A new website feature at Science Buddies, sponsored by Cisco Foundation, brings science news to students. With the news feed, students can easily locate science news stories related to a project or science interest.

thumbnail
Thanks to Aerojet Rocketdyne, the INFINITY Science Center, and Science Buddies, teachers in Mississippi got a booster course in rocket science—and paper airplane folding.

thumbnail
School and family science weekly spotlight: use dough to explore the relationship between dimensions of an object and volume.

thumbnail
In movies like Dolphin Tale, you don't have to look far to find the engineering design process in action. With the steps of the engineering process being acted out as the story unfolds, students see that success often involves a great deal of trial, error, testing, and redesigning.

thumbnail
School and family science weekly spotlight: explore the science of making soup from dried beans.



Your Science!
What will you explore for your science project this year? What is your favorite classroom science activity? Email us a short (one to three sentences) summary of your science project or teaching tip. You might end up featured in an upcoming Science Buddies newsletter!



You may print and distribute up to 200 copies of this document annually, at no charge, for personal and classroom educational use. When printing this document, you may NOT modify it in any way. For any other use, please contact Science Buddies.