Exploring George Washington Carver’s Contributions to Science

Part of the "George Washington Carver" Collection


Students will identify the scientific contributions made by George Washington Carver.

Estimated Time

15-20 Minutes

Setting Required



  • SS1H1a. Students will identify the contributions made by (various figures, including) George Washington Carver (science).
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.1.1.E. Students will use verbs to convey a sense of past, present, and future.



  1. Remind students that George Washington Carver was a scientist and ask students to brainstorm what scientists do. Students can view images of Dr. Carver’s science tools here: https://www.nps.gov/museum/exhibits/tuskegee/gwcresearch.htm Books such as What is Science or What is a Scientist can be reviewed as well as the skill of identifying verbs. Answers could include:
    • Experiment
    • Learn
    • Investigate
    • Study
    • Wonder
    • Answer
    • Teach
    • Find
    • Share
  2. Inform students that George Washington Carver did his wondering, experimenting, studying, learning, teaching about growing and eating food.
  3. Instruct students to think-pair-share what an experiment with growing food my look like (growing food in different ways to see which works best). Then, think-pair-share what an experiment with eating food might look like (trying different recipes).
  4. To expand on student guesses, reread In the Garden with Dr. Carver pages 4-5.

    “He was even teaching people how to turn simple foods like peanuts and sweet potatoes into luxuries like coffee, butter, and sugar. Hundreds of new products poured out of his laboratory, all made from plants that we could grow.”

  5. Skim through the list of Ways of Preparing Sweet Potatoes for the Table to see an example of his findings on growing and eating sweet potatoes.