The Changing Face of Science

The Contributions of Women to Science and
Mathematics Past and Present

Lesson Written by Martha C. Phelps-Borrowman
©1996-1997 by Martha Phelps-Borrowman

  1. Construct a chart on paper to record the following information: Name, Nationality, Birth and Death Dates, Field of Science or Math, Contribution/s
  2. Learn a lot about one female scientist of the 19th century by beginning a search on the Internet with Maria Mitchell.
  3. Record the information about Maria Mitchell on the chart constructed on paper.
  4. From the information page on Maria Mitchell, go back to the lesson page to perform a search for an additional female scientist or mathematician by using a search engine such as Alta Vista. Be sure that she is from a different century. Record data on chart.
  5. Organize groups of 2-4 students to discuss the following:
    • information that was surprising to you,
    • individual explanation/s of reasons for the lack of recognition of women,
    • difficulties in locating information, or
    • related topics of interest or concern to each group.
  6. Make a list of the main points of the group discussion.
  7. Share some of the main points with the class.
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  1. Continue to search for additional female scientists and mathematicians.
  2. Locate a female scientist or mathematician from five different centuries.
  3. Construct a database of the information located on the female scientists and mathematicians.
  4. Make a presentation in science class on one of the female scientists or mathematicians.
  5. Conduct an experiment in the scientific area of one of the females.
  6. Develop a flyer describing the life and work of one of the female scientists or mathematicians.
  7. Create and present a skit dealing with an aspect of the life of a selected female scientist or mathematician.

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© 1996-1997 by Martha C. Phelps-Borrowman
Use this lesson freely with credit to Martha C. Phelps-Borrowman