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Minority Contributors
Pamela Galus
    3 class periods (42 minutes each)



Lesson created on 12/22/1999 10:27:22 AM EST.
Last modified 8/15/2000 11:44:42 AM EST.


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Abstract  (help)


Components: Students visited 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). Now, 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. Ellison S. Onizuka took along a few momentos 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. In the last activity, students will 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 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 be proficient at conducting an Internet search.

Teacher Information  (help)


There are many quailty internet sites that contain information on women and minority contributors. Students should find a minority astronomer and obtain a printout of the information provided. Students should be provided with one class period to search the internet and read the various biographies to locate an individual who interests them. The second class period, students should meet in teams of 2-4 students and work together to share information and select one individual as the focus of their oral presentation. Teams may need to visit the library, electronic sources and others to locate additional information on their featured individual. The third day, students should present their information orally to the class.

Assessment  (help)


Students will have one or more computer printouts from their search. Student Self Evaluation Form Name of Students: Your Name:________________________________________ Minority Contributor: _________________________________________ Breif descrition of presentation: _________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ Facts about Contributor (history and culture):___________ _________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ Group Strength: _________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ Group Weakness: _________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ Self Evaluation (comments or suggestions to help YOU improve): _________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ Instructor Evalution of Team Performance: Name of Students in Team:___________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ Minority Contributor: ___________________________________________________ Facts presented: ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ Significance of contributions: ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ Significance of Cultural Background: ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ Evaluation: Communication Skills 5 4 3 2 1 Organization 5 4 3 2 1 Articulation 5 4 3 2 1 Length of Prentation 5 4 3 2 1 Validity of Information 5 4 3 2 1 Creativity 5 4 3 2 1 Quality of response to questions 5 4 3 2 1 Total point earned on oral segment _________ 5=superior, 4= excellent, 3= good, 2= average, 1= unacceptable Team Strength: _________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________ Areas for improvement: _________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________

Student Activity  (help)


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. Outline: This is required!!! You will NOT give a presentation without an outline in hand because it is likely that you will forget what you were going to say. We will follow the format listed below: 1. Tell them what you are going to tell them: introduce yourselves and your contributor. 2. Tell them. Explain the educational background of your contributor and any significant life changing events that impacted that individual. Explain the contributions. Include information on cultural background and the influence that may have had on the life of your selected contributor. 3. Tell them what you told them. No new information is given here. The audience should already know what they need to know; all you do here is summarize. You should restate. 4. Ask for questions from the audience. Pause after you ask for questions and count to five slowly, then if there are no questions, your presentation is over. Remember though, the more questions the audience asks the more interesting your presentation was. Pause for five seconds (count slow) after the last question asked to give the audience time to formulate other questions. Complete your self evaluation form immediately.

Technology Requirements/Integration  (help)


Students will require access to computers with Internet and word processing capabilities.




Copyright 1997-2003
Career Connection to Teaching with Technology
USDOE Technology Innovation Challenge Grant
Marshall Ransom, Project Manager
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