Reading an 1879 New York Times account of Thomas Edison makes it sound that we have lights today because of one person working in his lab. The story of the contributions and discoveries made by women and people of color in STEM fields has been under-told for years. Recently more and more books are published to help fill in the gaps.

Students read an account of the life of Lewis H. Latimer, a Black American self-taught mechanical end electrical engineer who worked for Edison’s company at the time of the development of the incandescent light bulb.

Students brainstormed together using whiteboards to synthesize the primary New York Times document, their own experience building the incandescent light bulb, and Lewis H. Latimer’s biography to try to tell a fuller story of the invention of the incandescent light bulb. They then wrote on their own to put all the ideas together in their own words.