Who are the SN 10 scientists?

This exercise is a part of Educator Guide: SN 10: Scientists to Watch / View Guide

Purpose: To gain a better understanding of the character traits, personal qualities, career paths, STEM-related research fields and the science behind the SN 10 scientists’ research.

Procedural overview: Students work in groups of two or three to come up with Jeopardy!-like answers and questions about the 10 young scientists covered in this issue. Once answers are submitted, a game can be prepared for the next class.

Approximate class time: Two classes, or approximately 80 – 90 minutes total.

Materials:

Notes to the teacher: Students should work in groups of two or three. Each group is assigned a different scientist from the 10 scientists profiled in this issue of Science News. Students in each group should come up with Jeopardy!-style answers and questions for their assigned scientist, based on information in the Science News article. (Similar content was covered with the article-based observation section in this guide.) Students should come up with one answer and its corresponding question for each of these six categories:

1. Personal Characteristics: personal traits that helped to make this scientist successful

2. Inspiration to be a Scientist: things that inspired this person to become a scientist

3. Research Objectives: the objectives of this scientist’s research

4. Details of Research: a detailed question about this scientist’s research

5. STEM Fields: the STEM field(s) related to this scientist’s research or general questions about the fields

6. Related Careers: other types of STEM careers that one could pursue in the STEM field(s) covered in the article.

Students can spend up to one class period (or approximately 40-45 minutes) working in groups to write their answers and questions, and then they can submit them to the teacher. The teacher can assemble those answers and questions into a Jeopardy!-style board under the six categories listed above. Easier pairs of answers/questions can be assigned lower point values, and harder pairs can be assigned higher point values:

  • 200 Klingon darseks
  • 400 Klingon darseks
  • 600 Klingon darseks
  • 800 Klingon darseks
  • 1000 Klingon darseks

Before the next class, the homework for the teacher is to assemble the students’ answers and questions into a Jeopardy!-style board:

Note that you only need 6 x 5= 30 pairs of answers and questions for the game, whereas students will have submitted up to 6 x 10 = 60 pairs, so the teacher can choose only the better pairs to include in the game. However, the pairs chosen should cover the scientists and the student teams in a fair and representative fashion. The students’ sheets are designed to be cut apart by the teacher in preparation for the game. Students are not allowed to answer a question that their team submitted, which is why it is important for the students to write their names on every answer/question pair that they submit. You might want to start off the class with your favorite Jeopardy! clip, or at least the theme song! Also, feel free to create the final category and question for the game, so student groups can wager their points.

Before the next class, the students’ homework is to read the articles about all of the scientists and take notes.

After the game, the teacher can wrap up the activity by asking the class some unifying questions, such as:

1. What personal characteristics are shared by many or all of the scientists? Why might that be?

2. What are some common sources of inspiration to become a scientist? For students in the class who would like to go into STEM careers, what has inspired them? What has inspired students to want to pursue careers outside of STEM?

3. How do (or should) scientists choose their research objectives?

4. What are the various methods that scientists use to solve different problems?

5. How many different STEM fields are represented by these scientists? What important STEM fields are not included in this small sample of scientists?

6. What have you learned about scientific careers from these articles and this activity?

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