As AAPI Heritage Month and Inventors Month are celebrated in classrooms across the country, we’re excited to highlight inventions from Asian American and Pacific Islanders that made the world a better place.
Check out these three major inventions by Asian American innovators that you should know!
Steven Chen, a Taiwanese American, alongside Bangladeshi German American Jawed Karim, and their partner Pennsylvania native Chad Hurley are the inventors of YouTube! Two important but very different events from 2004— the Super Bowl halftime performance, and the tsunami that ripped through parts of Asia—gave Karim the idea for a video-sharing site. What started out as a way of watching and sharing funny and interesting videos grew into a much broader platform that captures the attention of billions of people every day!
HIV Gene Mapping & AIDS Testing
Flossie Wong-Staal, a Chinese American scientist, is a leader in AIDS research. She helped to discover the virus that causes AIDS and a related virus that causes cancer while working with a team that included Dr. Robert C. Gallo, who is the co-founder of the Institute of Human Virology (IHV) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. She also did the first mapping of HIV's genes and helped to create a patented method of testing for AIDS.
Ajay Bhatt, an Indian American computer architect, developed several computer-related technologies, but his most popular is the Universal Serial Bus—better known as the USB. In the late 1990s, the USB became one of the most popular ways of transferring data from one device to another and is still widely used today. The invention elevated Bhatt to celebrity-status in the computer world.
“I was totally surprised by how it has impacted everybody,” Bhatt told CNN in a 2013 interview. “I mean, my name became a common name—at least at schools and in technical communities. I truly get a rock star treatment and that is quite unusual to me—people asking for your signature, people asking for your picture.”
Help your students of all backgrounds see themselves as engineers with multicultural, authentic stories in our digital STEM storybooks. This month we’re featuring our stories about Asian and Pacific Islander characters, including Hikaru’s Toy Troubles and Yi Min’s Great Wall.
Plus, check out these great resources for learning more about organizations working to promote AAPI excellence in STEM!
- Asian American Architects and Engineers Association
- National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering
- Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers
How do you celebrate APPI Heritage Month? We’d love to hear about your lesson plans and traditions in the comments down below! Or, tag us on Twitter or Facebook using #EiEcelebratesAAPIHeritage