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SCIENTISTS WHO BUILT OUR WORLD ONE THOUGHT AT A TIME
Grades 6-12

Overview

Cooperative sharing of ideas increases the ability of all to excel. This lesson will introduce the history of science through an overview of the major scientists who have contributed to our understanding of the world around us. The history of science is made up of people whose curiosity and persistence resulted in changing our world forever. Scientists learned from their teachers, evaluated the validity of information, did their own observations and experiments, then developed their own contributions to expand the horizons for us. Society always influenced the acceptance or rejection of new ideas.
ITV Series
Structure of the Atom, #1: The Earliest Models
Structure of the Atom #2: Smaller Than the Smallest
Structure of the Atom #3: The Rutherford Model
Structure of the Atom #4: The Bohr Model

Additional videos:
Structure of the Atom #5: Structure of the Atom
Structure of the Atom #6: Wave Mechanical Model
Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:
Materials
To demonstrate experiment on magnetism:

Pre-Viewing Activities
Emphasize that humans can learn knowledge in different ways. Scientists learn from the society they live in, such as from teachers. Curiosity and persistence lead them to observations, experimentation, and finally new theories for science. Courage to explore new horizons leads man to differ from their society's beliefs.

To summarize, we learn from: 1. receive instruction from teachers 2. do observations 3. perform experiments 4. develop new theories 5. apply new theories to further developments

List the following on the board to stimulate class discussion: Brainstorm the names for all the scientists who the students can recall. Ask the students to recall why each scientist was significant. This will prepare the students to realize how many scientists they have yet to learn about.
Focus Viewing
Give each student a Video Note-taking Sheet (see Appendix). Explain the class will actively view several short video segments highlighting major scientists and their contributions to scientific theories and development. To give students a specific responsibility while viewing, ask them to take notes listing 12 major scientists and make comments identifying each person's dates and their significance to the fields of science.

Students should also note the dates mentioned for each person. Later discuss why initially centuries passed between discoveries, then later only decades went by, to now, when new ideas come faster!

Viewing Activities
This will take about one class period.

BEGIN video of Structure of the Atom, #1: The Earliest Models at the image of a Greek with label "the populace." At the scorecard for Democritus, PAUSE after point #4 and before #5. Ask students to answer, "atoms make life predictable," as a yes or no question with a show of hands. RESUME the video.

PAUSE video at daisy illustration (see attached sample) of alchemy's different interests. Read a few petals, and stress that observation and experimentation are radical new developments here. RESUME the video.

PAUSE video as each scientist's name appears and at the first of their contributions to science. RESUME and continue after each fact. Do this for: Roger Bacon, William Gilbert, Lavoisier, and Proust. Reinforce note taking of the time periods mentioned.

STOP video at signpost for Dalton.

FAST FORWARD to Structure of the Atom, #2: Smaller Than the Smallest.

RESUME video at signpost for Dalton.

PAUSE at compound atom for taking notes on his contributions and dates. RESUME the video.

PAUSE video for Farady's and Thompson's facts with dates. RESUME the video.

STOP video when Rutherford is mentioned.

FAST FORWARD to Structure of the Atom, #3: The Rutherford Model.

START video at light bulb going out and voice says, "How does one study what one cannot see?" Ask students to predict the answer. RESUME video.

PAUSE video at Rutherford's use of polonium for fact gathering. RESUME video.

STOP video at alpha-man entering an atom.

FAST FORWARD to Structure of the Atom, #4: The Bohr Model.

START video at the Model-A Ford car.

PAUSE video at Bohr's and Planck's names for note-taking of their contributions and dates. RESUME video.

STOP video at "work must be done," and tell students that now they have had an overview of how one scientist's work will affect other scientists.
Post-Viewing Activities
Students will use library handouts to gather additional facts, beyond what they saw on the video, for these and other scientists. They will interpret facts and demonstrate comprehension in an oral presentation that may include a re-enactment of a significant milestone in their chosen scientist's achievements.

Note how many women are included and theorize why this happens. What was the role of women in these different time periods? Consider the lack of antibiotics and surgery during childbirth as a major cause of female mortality.

Why are these developments portrayed as so European? Brainstorm with students to consider: how people traveled, and that travel followed the major trade routes of those times. Consider the development of the printing press in 1415 A.D. in the spread of knowledge. Who could afford travel, academics and books?

Have students consider that they now have the advantages of a wider base of information than was available in the past. With advantages of modern medicine, and education with print and electronic books, now is the time their research is to begin in the Library.
Action Plan
Have students: Conduct resource-based research in their school's Library Information Center on major scientists, using the attached handouts as guides.

Do written outline and oral presentation of research.

Do a class or library "clothes pin" time line as a display. Different colored paper represents different fields of science, such as green for botany, red for physics, yellow for astronomy. Each sign displayed includes: scientist's name, date of birth and death, and an illustration of his/her major contribution to scientific advancement.

Present models of these famous experiments either as experiments or as three-dimensional displays to illustrate the theory or major experiment within the context of the scientist s historical period.

Present a summary introducing their scientist to the class, using their contribution to the class time line and their model.

Imagine and discuss different machines that could have been built upon the out-dated theories. Build sample models from recycled trash.
Extensions
Research and write about inventions, based on these scientists theories, which we use today.

Learn more about careers in science by researching Vocational Biographies and Lovejoy's College Guide to write a college of choice for more information. Scholastic has a web page that contains a lesson plan for career research.

Invite a college professor in science to be a guest speaker about their program and relationship with industry for applications of new research. Scientists who work for local companies are also excellent guest speakers.

Use the World Wide Web to dialog and interview living scientists. Attached are addresses for the World Wide Web for scientists.

Women in Science video would serve as a basis to study the contributions of women in various fields of science. Speculate on the courage it took to be pioneers in their times. What stereotypes did they face? Were they given recognition for their work? What made them continue?

Examine the influence of wars on the acceleration of scientific research. Consider such wars as: World War I and II, the Cuban exodus when Castro came to power, Russia after the fall of communism, Bosnia and the effect on the migration of trained scientists. What currently happens to foreign students once they graduate? Do they return to their homelands or continue in the United States? Why?

Speculate on the future of science. What developments are used in science fiction television shows and movies? What areas of science are expected to expand? Compare and contrast to H. G. Well s War of the Worlds. Did science develop as expected? Why did such developments succeed or fail?

Using household trash, create your invention of the future and explain what it does and why. What would happen if you built your machines on the wrong theories or information?

Master Teacher: Jean Newcomb


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