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General Science and Teaching

Expanding on Science Role Models

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Travus Houghton Travus Houghton 358 Points

Our general science books have a tendecy of leaving out images or names of a lot of those involved with the advancement of science.  In the next 9 weeks I am going to be teaching about genetics and heritage.  What are some interesting ways to introduce some of the major players in these discoveries so that my students can have a better grasp at who these people are, and that they can aspire to be just as innovative and crucial to the science world.

Claire Reinburg Claire Reinburg 495 Points

Hi, Travus,

Introducing the people behind the scientific discoveries is a great way to help students see the relevance of science and engineering to their lives. NSTA Press has a book series (Eureka!) that uses nonfiction books about scientists and engineers as part of its lessons -- this page has two sample lessons you can download, in case they're helpful:

Would love to hear how your genetics and heritage lessons went,


Gabe Kraljevic Gabe Kraljevic 4564 Points

Hello Travus,

This is probably too late to be useful, but just in case you're still working on ideas...

In my classes I would often have a 'Who's who in [insert subject here]' series of student presentations - one, 10-minute presentation per week.  These were typically on 'Wacky Wednesdays' and students were encouraged to bring as much creativity to the presentation as possible!  Samples: Students dressed up like Einstein and talked in a German accent; one girl set up a dinner table and gave a monologue in an evening gown entitled, 'My Dinner with Tesla'; they ran game shows; created music videos; performed rap; demonstrated experiments; conducted mock interviews and more  They needed to create a biography to hand out to the class, which is what I graded for this assignment.  These soon became highlights of the week and gave students a chance to really use their talents.  

On some occasions I would act out scenes such as, 'Gregor Mendel - party animal' where I demonstrated the scope and dedication to control the pollination of thousands of pea plants; 'Watson and Crick - brilliant jerks' - alluding to their treatment of Rosalind Franklin and some of their later behaviours as celebrity scientists; put on a wig and introduced Newton's laws of motion in an English accent; Stood on a desk and dropped indoor shotputs as a re-enactment of the apocryphal cannonball experiments of Galileo...

You can have a lot of fun with this.  I know I did.  And I think the out-of-the-ordinary things you do in class are much more memorable than the mundane.

Hope this helps,



Emily Faulconer Emily Faulconer 5755 Points

While there has been a recent focus on women in STEM (Hidden Figures, etc.), I think these posters are a great way to decorate your classroom with strong women role models in STEM. 

Nicholas Stumpf Nicholas Stumpf 965 Points

I think depending on what age you are teaching helps to decide what is the best way to inrtoduce these scientists. I am currently a preservice teacher at the Ohio State University and just completed my science methods and one interesting thing that I learned to introduce a topic is to read the students a book about the scientist that you are learning about. Now this technique works much better with younger ages because you are able to use picture books but I still think that there is a way to do this with older kids you would need to find some books that work better for older kids.

Torrey Wenger Torrey Wenger 907 Points

Picture books still work with middle & high school kids!

TAMARA L MILLER Tamara Miller 2355 Points

Possibly have fun acting out these scientist in a game or do a matching game.

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