When we teach science, the important scientific figures behind the science are only mentioned in a cursory way. My Great Minds in Science Series of Articles is an attempt to enliven and deepen the understanding of the people behind the discoveries. It is a great way for students to connect with the real humans behind the ideas. The group of scientists in this collection not only came up with ground-breaking scientific ideas, they were also amazing, quirky and strange in ways that your students will find very interesting. Download a FREE ARTICLE
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This article is written in the first person from Newton's perspective. Highlights include: Newton's abandonment as a child which created life-long insecurities that caused him to be hostile to any criticisms of his work; his lack of formal education in math or science which made his subsequent discoveries in math and physics even more remarkable; his hugely antagonistic rivalry with Robert Hooke over Newton's findings in optics and accusations of plagiarism by Hooke over Newton's findings on planetary motion; Newton's publication of the most influential book ever written in physics called the Principia; Newton's hate filled rivalry with Gottfried Leibniz over who was the first to develop calculus and finally Newton's interest in alchemy and quest for the philosopher's stone. PLEASE CLICK THE PREVIEW and then zoom in to read a part of the article to see if this article is appropriate for your classes.
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Besides using these articles for sub plans, they also help promote science literacy
which is emphasized in many curricula including NGSS and TEKS standards
I have created a collection of professionally written and attractively designed articles that will grab your students' attention. Save time! These articles with questions give you no-prep, ready to go printables
right at your fingertips. Answer keys are provided for each article. Each science reading article is 1 and 1/3rd pages of text with 2/3rd pages of questions. In total, only two pages to print (or one page double-sided) for each student.
The great thing about this article is that it can be used for a variety of assignments if not used for a sub plan. There is a call for increased science literacy in classes, and a push to make science relevant to students. Engaging science articles are a good way to meet these needs.
(1) No prep sub plans that are easy to hand out and collect.
(2) In school suspension plans that are handy for those unexpected times.
(3) Independent work for early finishers.
(4) No prep extra credit assignment.
(5) Homework assignment.
(6) Warm up work for the beginning of class.
(7) Assign at the beginning of the week and take up at the end.
ALL GREAT MINDS IN SCIENCE ARTICLES:
Article #1 - Dmitri Mendeleev
Article highlights include: his mother's tenacity which allowed him to attend university where he faced various obstacles to rise to the top of his class; his concerns for the development of science education in Russia which compels him to write Russian language textbooks; his certainty that science can be standardized by understanding a pattern that exists among elements; his journey to decipher this pattern; his development of the periodic table and having element 101 (Mendelevium) named after him.
Article #2 - Gregor Mendel
Article highlights include: his poverty growing up; his only way to obtain an education was to become a monk which he did reluctantly; he failed twice at obtaining a certification for teaching but the monastery allowed him to teach despite this; the beginning of his studies into inheritance and heredity; the fortuitous choice of garden peas for his studies and the development of his Mendel's laws of inheritance.
Article #3 - Charles Darwin
Article highlights include: his numerous failed attempts at studies and his father's disappointment in him; his eventual success at studies into the natural world; his voyage on the HMS Beagle; his return to England to scientific acclaim and respect; ideas that influenced his development of his theory of evolution by natural section (Lyell, Malthus etc.) and the need to publish his findings because Alfred Russel Wallace began coming up with the same theory of evolution by natural selection.
Article #4 - Marie Curie
Article highlights include: her brilliance at scientific studies as a child; her inability to continue her studies in Poland because universities there didn't accept women; her struggles to make money so that she could attend university in France at the age of 24; her love of Pierre Curie and their work together on radioactivity; her discovery of polonium and radium; her two Nobel Prizes and her significant but largely unrecognized contributions to the war effort in WWII and her death from aplastic anemia due to radiation exposure.
Article #5 - Galileo Galilei
Article highlights include: explanation of the European Renaissance; Galileo convincing his father he should become a mathematician and physicist instead of a doctor; his invention of many interesting devices; observations of Kepler's supernova; his development of the telescope and its uses in his research; his discovery of the four largest moons of Jupiter; his discovery of the shadows of Saturn that supported the heliocentric model over the geocentric model; his persecution by the Inquisition of the Catholic Church due to his support of the heliocentric model; his recanting upon threat of torture and his imprisonment until death.
Article #6 - Albert Einstein
Article highlights include: details of his difficulties with authority and school while growing up; his amazingly productive 1905 year when he came up with and published four groundbreaking ideas (including e=mc2 and the special theory of relativity); an application of the theory of relativity; an explanation of the significance of e=mc2, his abandonment of Germany during the rise of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich; his emigration to America; his contribution to the Manhattan Project's development of nuclear weapons and his great regret for contributing to the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Article #7 - Rosalind Franklin
Article highlights include: Franklin's achievements as a child; her research into the structure of coal which earned her a PhD; her apprenticeship for learning about X-ray diffraction; her appointment to work at King's College to help discover the structure of DNA; the tensions and hostilities with her research partner Maurice Wilkins; her success at obtaining excellent X-ray diffraction images of two forms of DNA; Wilkin's release of these images to a rival team (James Watson and Francis Crick) of researchers without telling Franklin; Franklin's research into the structure of plant viruses; Franklin's early death due to ovarian cancer at the age of 37 and the controversy over her not being acknowledged by the Nobel Prize committee.
Article #8 - Carl Linnaeus
Article highlights include: Linnaeus' early and intense passion for plants; his failure to do well in school; how he became a lecturer of botany at a university at the tender age of 23; his intrepid expeditions to find new species of plants and animals; his desire to change the way species were named and his development of binomial nomenclature and his own system of classification; his great popularity as a teacher of botany; his devoted students who he sent off to remote areas of the world to collect new plant and animal specimens (7 of whom died during the task) and his controversial grouping of humans with primates.
Article #9 - Alexander Fleming
Article highlights include: Fleming's early achievements as a child; his aspirations to become a surgeon; his attainment of a medical degree; his shift in focus to studying bacteria instead of medicine; his time spent in battlefield hospitals in World War I where he promoted a better way to treat deep wounds since the method currently used was killing many of the soldiers; his discovery of lysozymes in bodily secretions which could kill bacteria and his accidental discovery of penicillin due to the contamination of bacterial samples by mold.
Article #10 - Rachel Carson
Article highlights include: Carson's duel passions for writing and nature as a child; her academic achievements; taking a job with the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries to help support her family; her budding and acclaimed career as a writer; her concern for the widespread use of DDT and other pesticides; her need to make the public aware of the dangers of pesticides by writing a groundbreaking book called Silent Spring; her battle with intestinal and breast cancer during the four years it took to complete the book and how Silent Spring inspired a new young generation of environmental activists.
Article #11 - Nikola Tesla
Article highlights include: Tesla's academic highs and lows where he demonstrated both an exceptional mind as well as a severe gambling addiction; his prolific ability to create useful inventions; Tesla's employment and falling out with Thomas Edison; the battle between Edison's DC current system and Tesla's AC current system; the destruction of hundreds of Tesla's plans for inventions when his laboratory caught fire and his futuristic ideas for later inventions.
Article #12 - Niels Bohr
Article highlights include: Bohr's parents who pushed him towards intellectual excellence; Bohr's ambition, resourcefulness and ability to rise above the expected; his habit of correcting everyone around him who he thought was wrong and how this got him into both fistfights as well as created friction with his colleagues and his breakthrough discovery that electrons were found in distinct pathways (orbitals) around the nucleus of an atom and that these electrons exhibited discrete energy states.
Article #13 - Edwin Hubble
Article highlights include: how Hubble's father pushed him to become a lawyer when he really wanted to become an astronomer; how Hubble gave up law and pursued his dream of astronomy after his father's death; how he was considered more of a jock and athlete than an intellectual at school; how he made the big discovery that the universe was larger than just the Milky Way Galaxy when he figured out that he was analyzing pulsating stars that must be located outside of our galaxy (this debunked the idea of a single-galaxy universe and created a sea-change in how astronomy was researched); how the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is named after him and what the HST does and how and why he was never awarded a Nobel Prize.
Article #14 - Louis Pasteur
Article highlights include: Pasteur's schooling which was riddled with poor academic performances and failed exams; his eventual rise to a professor of chemistry; his strict standards and discipline which won him few friends but served him well as a scientist; his fermentation experiments which disproved the theory of spontaneous generation and which showed that microbes could cause food spoilage; his development of and uses for pasteurization; Pasteur's revolutionary proposal of the "germ theory" of disease; how germ theory had an immensely positive effect on the field of medicine by causing doctors to begin to wash their hands and sterilize their medical equipment and finally, Pasteur's development of the first vaccines.
Article #15 - George Washington Carver
Article highlights include: How Carver was born into slavery; how he struck out on his own at the age of 10 to try to obtain an education; how discrimination prevented him from obtaining a higher education until he finally was admitted into Iowa State Agricultural College; how Carver gained a reputation for himself as a great botanist and became the first black professor at the College; how through his teaching and campaigning, Carver convinced farmers to use crop rotation to increase the fertility of their soils. He suggested using the peanut as the legume of choice for crop rotation and this greatly promoted sustainable agriculture as well as provided much needed economic support for farmers as their cotton harvest was beginning to fail and threaten their livelihoods.
Article #16 - Robert Hooke
Article highlights include: how Hooke was almost relegated to historical obscurity due to his feuds with rival scientists, most notably with Isaac Newton; his great interest and expertise in experimental design and innovation; his facility with designing equipment; his vast improvements on the microscope which allowed him to observe specimens at close range and with great detail; his coinage of the term “cell” and the publication of his pioneering book, Micrographia, that would become an instant best-seller.
Article #17 - Dian Fossey
Article highlights include: how Fossey’s feelings of isolation as a child caused her to turn to animals for acceptance; how she failed at getting her veterinary degree because she lacked an aptitude in chemistry and physics; how Fossey decided to take chance and borrowed money to travel to Africa on safari where she met Mary and Louis Leaky who convinced her to study gorillas; how she dedicated her life to researching and conserving gorillas, how she responded to members of her research group getting poached by creating anti-poaching patrols and how she was found murdered in 1985 (the case remains unsolved).
Article #18 - Isaac Newton
Article highlights include: Newton's abandonment as a child which created life-long insecurities that caused him to be hostile to any criticisms of his work; his lack of formal education in math or science which made his subsequent discoveries in math and physics even more remarkable; his hugely antagonistic rivalry with Robert Hooke over Newton's findings in optics and accusations of plagiarism by Hooke over Newton's findings on planetary motion; Newton's publication of the most influential book ever written in physics called the Principia; Newton's hate filled rivalry with Gottfried Leibniz over who was the first to develop calculus and finally Newton's interest in alchemy and quest for the philosopher's stone.
FREE BONUS Article #19 - Benjamin Franklin
Article highlights include: Franklin's lack of formal education and his motivation to keep learning despite of this; his early interest in writing and publishing newspapers in order to morally educate the populace; his ability to come up with inventions and ideas that he didn't feel should be patented so that others could use them freely and improve on them; his studies in electricity that made other scientists think of electricity as a legitimate field of study and his change of heart on the topic of slavery - going from being a slave owner to a vocal abolitionist.
Copyright © Anh-Thi Tang (Tangstar Science)
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