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Minority Biographies
Pamela Galus
    1 class period (42 minutes)



Lesson created on 12/22/1999 10:16:54 AM EST.
Last modified 8/6/2000 12:46:25 PM EST.


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Abstract  (help)


Components: 1. Students will visit a web site that lists the achievements of individuals from a minority that have contributed to science and summarize the information on 9 individuals (3 each - meteorologist, geologist, astronaut). 2. Students will search the Internet for information on an individual from a minority that has contributed to science. Students will then meet in teams to discuss findings and determine which individual to feature during an oral presentation to the class. The presentation must discuss the cultural background of the contributor and the significance of various beliefs. 3. Ellison S. Onizuka took along a few momentous on his first space flight: Kona Coffee and macadamia nuts from the Hawaiian village where he was born and raised, a Buddhist medallion given to him by his father who had instilled the values of patience, hard work and dedication to duty. Students should think about their own culture and decide what three cultural artifacts they would take with them on their first space mission. (Note: Contributions of individuals from minority cultures should not be covered solely as a separate unit but information should be included throughout the curriculum.)

National Standards  (help)


UNDERSTANDINGS ABOUT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY Scientists in different disciplines ask different questions, use different methods of investigation, and accept different types of evidence to support their explanations. Many scientific investigations require the contributions of individuals from different disciplines, including engineering. New disciplines of science, such as geophysics and biochemistry often emerge at the interface of two older disciplines. Science often advances with the introduction of new technologies. Solving technological problems often results in new scientific knowledge. New technologies often extend the current levels of scientific understanding and introduce new areas of research. Creativity, imagination, and a good knowledge base are all required in the work of science and engineering. Science and technology are pursued for different purposes. Scientific inquiry is driven by the desire to understand the natural world, and technological design is driven by the need to meet human needs and solve human problems. Technology, by its nature, has a more direct effect on society than science because its purpose is to solve human problems, help humans adapt, and fulfill human aspirations. Technological solutions may create new problems. Science, by its nature, answers questions that may or may not directly influence humans. Sometimes scientific advances challenge people's beliefs and practical explanations concerning various aspects of the world. Technological knowledge is often not made public because of patents and the financial potential of the idea or invention. Scientific knowledge is made public through presentations at professional meetings and publications in scientific journals.

Pre-requisite Skills  (help)


Students should know how to conduct an Internet search and have basic word processing abilities.

Teacher Information  (help)


People have been interested in science as long as the human race has been in existence. Men and woman from all backgrounds, in all areas of the world, work together to solve problems and conduct research. Students should be directed to access the URL: httm://www.lib.lsu.edu/lib/chem/display/alphabetic.html. This site contains an alphabetical listing of individuals from a minority culture who have made significant contributions to science. Students should read the biographies and summarize information contained within.

Assessment  (help)


Students will turn in written work that will be checked for accuracy and errors should be corrected.

Student Activity  (help)


Students will visit: httm://www.lib.lsu.edu/lib/chem/display/alphabetic.html. This site contains an alphabetical listing of individuals from a minority culture who have made significant contributions to science. Students should read the biographies and write a paragraph that summarizes the individualís contributions and cultural background. When students have completed the assignment, they should begin searching other sites for minority contributors.

Technology Requirements/Integration  (help)


Students will need to use computers with internet access.




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