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The Time Travel Interviews with Famous Scientists

About this Daily Classroom Special
The Time Travel Interviews with Famous Scientists is written by Judy Jones, teacher at East Chapel Hill High School (NC) and Teachers Network web mentor.  Judy is also responsible for the popular Critter Corner Daily Classroom Special. E-mail Judy.

The Time Travel Interviews with Famous Scientists

Introduction:

One way I have found to make science more exciting to my students is to connect the science they are learning to the scientists who have furthered our knowledge of the natural world over the ages. My students love to hear of the hardships, the foibles, and the times of these men and women of science. Students of all ages would enjoy conducting research about a particular scientist and creating a mock interview of that person. These "interviews" could be performed in front of the whole class. In elementary and middle school, this activity would not only develop knowledge of science and the scientific process, it would also promote research skills, writing skills, communication skills, and creativity. Over the next several months, I will be submitting mock interviews of various scientists. I encourage interested teachers and students to submit their own "time travel" scientist interviews to me for possible display on these web pages!

Science Standards

Content Standard G: As a result of activities in grades 5-8, all students should develop understanding of science as a human endeavor, the nature of science, and the history of science. 

Content Standard G: As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop understanding of science as a human endeavor, the nature of scientific knowledge, and historical perspectives.

Biography of Ms. Jurna List

Our "time travel" journalist is Ms. Jurna List! She was born in 1960 just after Sputnik spurred the United States to increase its interest in math and science education. She always loved science from the time she was a young girl, exploring the plants and animals of her beloved mountain home. She taught science in a high school in the Appalachian Mountains for many years. While teaching, she also spent untold hours in her lab researching and experimenting with the possibility of time travel. Finally in 1998, she discovered the secret. (Don't ask. She won't tell you.) She was able to build a remarkable vehicle that could take her back to any century, year, or day that she chose. She has had many adventures that have taken her to several parts of the world and back to many different periods of time.

So far, Ms. List has interviewed:
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723), the discoverer of bacteria
Marie Sklodowska Curie (1867 - 1934), chemist and two-time Nobel Prize winner

Future Interviews
(a tentative list, as Ms. List is not always able to track down the interviewees)

Louis Pasteur (1822 - 1895)
George Washington Carver (? - 1943)
Ernest Everett Just (1883 - 1941)
Barbara McClintock (1902 - 1992)
Charles Robert Darwin (1809 - 1882)
Edward Jenner (1749 - 1823)
Rosalind Franklin (1920 - 1958)
Gregor Mendel (1822 - 1884)
Antoine Laurent Lavoisier (1743 - ?)

 

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