A kaleidoscope is a tube you look into that makes beautiful, colorful patterns using mirrors. The kaleidoscope was invented by the Scottish physicist Sir David Brewster (1781-1868); he patented the kaleidoscope in 1817.
Dean Kamen is an American inventor who has invented many revolutionary devices and holds over 35 U.S. patents. He developed the portable medical infusion pump, which allows patients to receive medication, like insulin, away from the hospital, and has allowed diabetic women to carry and deliver babies much more safely. Kamen designed the iBot, a revolutionary wheelchair (that uses gyroscopes and computers) that the user “wears” - it allows increased mobility (it can even climb stairs) and improved social interaction (the user can “stand”). He also invented intravascular stents (devices that hold blocked arteries open) and the portable kidney dialysis machine, which has enabled kidney dialysis patients to avoid long hospital visits - they can do the dialysis themselves while they sleep. The Segway is a rechargable electric, single-person vehicle he invented.
Kamen founded an educational learning center for children called Science Enrichment Encounters (or “SEE”), and FIRST (“For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology”) which has a yearly robot competition for high school students.
Isabella Helen Lugoski Karle (1921- ) is a American physical chemist who invented new methods of X-ray Crystallography. She used electron diffraction and then x-ray diffraction to study the structure of molecules. Karle developed a three-dimensional modeling process, enabling her to identify and show the structures of hundreds of complex and important molecules (including alkaloids, ionophores, steroids, toxins, and peptides [amino acid compounds]). Because of Karle’s process, the number of published molecular analyses has jumped from about 150 to over 10,000 per year. Karle received the National Medal of Science in 1995. Karle is a senior scientist and head of the Naval Research Laboratory’s (NRL) x-ray diffraction section in the Laboratory for the Structure of Matter. Karle’s husband, Jerome Karle, is a Nobel Prize winner in chemistry.
Kevlar (poly[p-phenyleneterephtalamide]) is a polymer fiber that is five times stronger than the same weight of steel. Kevlar is used in bullet-proof vests, helmets, trampolines, tennis rackets, and many other commonly-used objects. Kevlar was invented by Stephanie Louise Kwolek and was first marketed by DuPont in 1971.
Kindergarten (which means “garden of children”) was developed by Friedrich Wilhelm August Froebel (also written Fröbel) (1782-1852). Froebel was a German educator and educational reformer who opened the first kindergarten in Bad Blankenburg (near Keilhau) in 1837. Froebel founded a kindergarten training school at Liebenstein, Germany, in 1849. After some conflicts and mistaken charges of treason, the German government banned the establishment of kindergartens in 1851. In 1860, the government repealed the ban, and kindergartens re-opened (unfortunately, this was after Froebel’s death). Froebel’s kindergartens included pleasant surroundings, self-motivated activity, play, music, and the physical training of the child.
The kite was invented roughly 2,500 to 3,000 years ago. It originated in China, Malaysia or Indonesia (there are many claims to having invented the kite). Some people say that the earliest kites consisted of a huge leaf attached to a long string (there is a type of Indonesian leaf that is wonderful as a kite).
The toy construction set called K’NEX was invented in 1990 by Joel Glickman. Joel had been playing with straws while at a wedding and realized that with some simple connectors, they would make a great building set. His plastic rod and connector construction set soon became popular worldwide. K’NEX are made by K’NEX Industries, Inc., a privately held company, and are distributed by the toy company Hasbro.
The powdered drink Kool-Aid was invented in 1927 by the chemist Edwin Perkins of Nebraska Omaha. Perkins started a company in 1914 that sold perfume and calling cards; it was called the Perkins Products Company. Originally located in Hendley, Nebraska, they moved to Hastings, Nebraska (about 90 miles west of Lincoln) in 1920, and expanded their product line to include spices, medicines, more toilet preparations, and other household items.
Kool-Aid was originally a liquid called “Fruit Smack,” and was sold in a 4-ounce bottles. It was later renamed Kool-Ade (and later, Kool-Aid), and sold in powdered form in packets. The seven original Kool-Aid flavors were: Cherry, Lemon-Lime, Grape, Orange, Root Beer, Strawberry, and Raspberry. The Kool-Aid factory later moved to Chicago, Illinois, and was bought by General Foods Corporation in 1953.
Stephanie Louise Kwolek (1923- ) is an American chemist who discovered kevlar and many other para-aramid fibers. Kevlar (poly[p-phenyleneterephtalamide]) is a polymer fiber that is five times stronger than the same weight of steel. Kevlar is used in bullet-proof vests, helmets, trampolines, tennis rackets, and many other commonly-used objects.