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Draw a Scientist

Lesson Overview:

The views of middle-school students are often shaped by their experiences through popular culture. Whether its from a comic book or a movie, certain professionals are stereotyped and pigeonholed into having certain characteristics.

In this lesson, students are asked to draw what they perceive a scientist to look like. They will then meet a non-stereotypical scientist and will then reevaluated their perceptions.

Lesson Objectives:

Students will be able to

Formulate opinions about scientists.

Analyze and evaluate stereotypes

Materials Needed:

Drawing paper



Draw a Scientist checklist

Lined paper for notes

Activity Plan:

1. Students are asked: When you hear the word scientist, what is the first thought that comes to your mind?

2. Students write responses on their note paper.

a. If the children are struggling for a response, encourage them to imagine what the scientist looks like.

b. Example questions: What is the scientist doing? What does his or her clothes look like? Where are they?

3. Once the students have had enough time to jot down some ideas, give them a sheet of drawing paper and ask them to draw a picture of the scientist at work.

4. Students will then trade pictures and use the Draw a Scientist checklist to evaluate the drawing without talking to the artist.

5. Class discussion of drawings. Calculate checklist on board or overheard.

6. Discuss what students think scientists do.

7. Introduce students to a scientist, who will make a brief presentation to the class.

8. Have the students interview the scientist.

9. Students will draw a second picture of the scientist at work.

10. End with class discussion:

a. How is the second picture different from your first picture?

b. How have your perceptions about scientists changed?

Additional Resources:

Draw a Scientist Checklist Provided

Images from the internet of Mad Scientist

Images from the internet of Chemist, Biologist, Physicist, and/or Scientist, etc.

Maybe not physicist so much if looking for normal looking scientist.


Please put an X next to any of the words that are true about the scientist you are evaluating.

[ ] Friendly

[ ] Scary

[ ] Cant Tell

[ ]

[ ] Long Hair

[ ] Short Hair

[ ] Wild Hair

[ ] Bald

[ ] Male

[ ] Female

[ ] Cant Tell

[ ]

[ ] Wearing a Lab Coat

[ ] Wearing Regular Clothes

[ ] Wearing Weird Clothes

[ ]

[ ] Indoors

[ ] Outdoors

[ ] Cant Tell

[ ]

[ ] Has something in pocket

[ ] Wearing a tie

[ ] Wearing glasses

[ ]

[ ] Using test tubes

[ ] Near a computer

[ ] Using charts

[ ]

[ ] Near a blackboard or easel

[ ] With plants

[ ] With animals

[ ]

[ ] With something that could explode

[ ] With a monster

[ ] With other people

[ ]

[ ] Using numbers

[ ] Using machinery

[ ]

[ ]

[ ] Mad written on drawing

[ ] Weird written on drawing

[ ] Any other work _________________

[ ]

Paper Airplane Engineering

Lesson Overview:

The scientific method is a guide that establishes a proper process for inquiry and controlled testing. Formal scientific testing is universally measured using the metric standard.

By designing, constructing, and testing different paper airplane designs, students will gain an understanding of the scientific method as a guide for controlled experimentation. As they test their flying creations, they will use different metric units while testing for distance helping them become familiar with the different prefixes utilized.

Lesson Objectives:

Students will be able to

Understand the steps and process of the scientific method.

Read metric units in comparison to scale.

Materials Needed:


Scissors (Optional)

Tape (Optional)

Metric measuring tape or meter stick

Paper Clips

Activity Plan:

1. Break up students into groups of 2.

2. Instruct one student from each group to make a paper airplane familiar to them. Assist them if they do not know how.

a. Standing at a set line, have them toss the airplane.

b. Their lab partner will measure the distance.

i. They will fill out Part 1 of the hand-out?

1. If they do not know the differences of the metric prefixes, write them on the board or overhead projector and give them a brief explanation.

c. Repeat plane tossing and measuring activity 4 more times.

d. Have them take the average distance and mark it down.

3. Have them sit down.

4. List the six steps of the scientific method in order on a board or overhead.

a. Briefly explain each step of the scientific method with the students and lead them into an inquiry-based discussion about the paper airplane activity:

i. What happened to your airplane?

ii. Why do you think this happened?

iii. What could you do make it better? Does it need to be better?

iv. What step in the scientific method would we be on right now?

b. Give enough time for students to express their ideas, but cap the discussion at five minutes.

Sample Questioning: Okay, we asked a question: How can we make our paper airplane better? We already did some background research when you tested your first design. Now what I want you all to do is to construct a hypothesis. What is one thing that you could change on your design that would improve it?

5. Have them work on a new paper airplane design that only changes one thing.

6. Let them fill out the Purpose, Hypothesis, Materials, and Procedure sections of the Part 2 on the hand-outs.

7. Students repeat activity on step 2 and fill out the rest of the Part 2 on the hand-out.

8. End with post-lab discussion:

a. Was your hypothesis disproved or confirmed? Explain using the information obtained in your experiment. Use your hand-out and data sheet as a reference.

b. Do you think this is how scientists conduct their own research? Why or why not?

c. Why was it important that you change only one thing between your initial experiment and your later experiment?

d. Do you think the scientific method is a good way to make scientific discoveries? Why or why not?

Terms and Concepts:

Metric Prefixes:

Scientific Method:

Ask a QuestionDo Background ResearchConstruct a HypothesisTest Your Hypothesis by Doing an ExperimentAnalyze Your Data and Draw a ConclusionReport Your Results: (Was Your Hypothesis Correct?)

Paper Airplane Engineering

Part One: Testing Your First Design

How far away from the launch line did the paper airplane land?

Throw 1: __________ Centimeters __________ Millimeters __________ Meters

Throw 2: __________ Centimeters __________ Millimeters __________ Meters

Throw 3: __________ Centimeters __________ Millimeters __________ Meters

Throw 4: __________ Centimeters __________ Millimeters __________ Meters

Throw 5: __________ Centimeters __________ Millimeters __________ Meters


(K)ing (K)ilometer 1000m 103

(H)enry (H)ectometer 100m 102

(D)anced (D)ecameter 10m 101

(W)hile Standard 1m 100

(D)rinking (D)ecimeter .1m 10-1

(C)hocolate (C)entimeter .01m 10-2

(M)ilk (M)illimeter .001m 10-3

Paper Airplane Engineering

Part Two:

Using the Scientific Method to test your design:

Purpose: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Hypothesis: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Materials: ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Procedure: Throw 1: __________ Centimeters __________ Millimeters __________ Meters

Throw 2: __________ Centimeters __________ Millimeters __________ Meters

Throw 3: __________ Centimeters __________ Millimeters __________ Meters

Throw 4: __________ Centimeters __________ Millimeters __________ Meters

Throw 5: __________ Centimeters __________ Millimeters __________ Meters

Results: ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Conclusion: _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________