The SN 10 Game

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 fields and science behind the SN 10 scientists’ research.

Procedural overview: Students can work in groups of two or three to come up with Jeopardy!-like answers and questions about the SN 10 scientists, or you can use the prepared game provided. Once answers and questions are submitted, a game can be prepared for the next class. Approximately one class period is required to allow students to read the articles and prepare the game, and one class period is required to play the game. Or, allow students time to read the articles, then use the pre-made game that’s provided with this Guide. Approximately one class period is required when the pre-made Jeopardy!-like board is used.

Approximate class time: Two class periods or approximately 60–90 minutes total, depending on the activity chosen.


Pre-made Jeopardy!-like board:

Pre-made Jeopardy!-like board answers:

Notes to the teacher: Each group is assigned a different scientist from the 10 scientists profiled in this issue of Science News. Students in each group come up with Jeopardy!-style answers and questions for their assigned scientist, based on information in the Science News article. Each student in a group come up with one answer and its corresponding question for each of these six categories:

1. Personal traits: things that helped the scientist succeed.

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

3. Research objectives: question(s) that the scientist is trying to answer.

4. Fun research fact: something unique or surprising about the scientist’s research.

5. Name that STEM field: questions and answers should relate to the scientist’s field(s) of study.

6. What else could you do?: other types of STEM careers that one could pursue in the scientist’s field(s).

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 vibranium coins
  • 400 vibranium coins
  • 600 vibranium coins
  • 800 vibranium coins
  • 1,000 vibranium coins

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

Notes to the teacher: You only need 30 pairs of answers and questions for the game. 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 a final Jeopardy!-like  answer 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, you 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?