The Great Scientists


It is important that students understand that science is not just about information, but also the people behind the information. This provides students with an opportunity to realize that scientific concepts come from the minds of people and not a machine or computer. Students are also able to see what may have prompted a scientist to come up with a certain theory or invention based upon their life experiences. This allows students to link themselves to a historical figure and get a better understanding of how the world has been affected through their exploits. This may also expose students to scientists of different ethnicities and show them how all cultures have made a significant impact on the world we live in.


  • The Internet is a useful resource that can be used to access historical and current data.
  • Scientists are an important part of modern science.
  • The world has changed due to the creative minds of scientists and inventors.


  • Access data on a selected scientist from the Internet.
  • List the background information about the scientist.
  • Identify the discoveries and/or inventions of the scientist.
  • Discuss the impact of these discoveries on the world.
  • Write a report on the information gathered on each scientist.

  • Students select a scientist from a list of names that has already been prepared.
  • Discuss, as a class, what characteristics are deemed important to be a good scientist.
  • Have the students list any important facts they think they should know about their scientist including personal information.
  • Discuss what will be included in each portion of the paper. Explain to the students what is expected in the introduction, body, and conclusion of each paper.
  • Each student should be provided with a list of pre-approved Internet sites that will provide appropriate data. Some useful sites include:

    On the computer

    Using a single computer access to the Internet

    Depending on the availability of Internet access, the teacher could access the Internet from a
    single classroom computer using a monitor for the class to view. Another option is to set
    up the computer as a station within the classroom. Students would rotate to this
    Internet station and access the data from pre-approved Internet sites. Information on their
    scientist will be recorded by the students.

    Using a computer lab

    Students will work individually to access all necessary information needed for their research paper.

  • Students will gather and organize all information in chronological order.
  • The students will write a paper on their scientist including an introduction, body, and closing.

Related resources

  • Encyclopedias
  • Biography information on scientists and inventors
  • Encyclopedia of Science, CD-ROM