Practical Ways to Assess and Change Students’ Perceptions of Scientists

by: Melissa Dyehouse, Jillian T. Detwiler, Jianming Li, Krystal Madden Bandy, Deborah Bennett, Amy Childress, and Jon Harbor

One exercise that challenges students’ stereotypical perception of scientists is the Scientist Match-Up Activity. In this interactive lesson, students are asked to match a person to a profession based on three sets of clues. These clues include a picture, a description of particular skills, and personality traits/accomplishments. A wide array of scientists and nonscientists (actors, sports stars, and less famous professionals such as teachers, journalists, and so on) are included to highlight the similarities among working professionals and to exploit potential misconceptions students have about the perceived traits of scientists. In addition, this lesson informs the teacher about students’ knowledge of science and science-related careers and serves as a teaching tool for introducing specialized scientific disciplines.


Type Journal ArticlePub Date 7/1/2010Stock # ss10_033_09_45Volume 033Issue 09

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