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Scientific Autobiography, by Thelma E. Stepan


Guide Entry to 82.02.09:

This unit is proposed for use as enrichment material for upper-level high school students of chemistry and physics. These students are of average or above average ability and the majority of them are college bound. Because this unit is not a part of the regular curriculum, but is intended to broaden the studentsí view of science, it will not follow the usual four to six week format, but will be used throughout the year at appropriate stages of the courses. Most of the work will be completed as out of class reading and writing assignments, with actual in class time held to a minimum. The tight scheduling of the mandatory subject matter units makes this type of approach necessary. Hard science courses almost always concern themselves exclusively with the subject matter of the disciplines, stressing the definitions, formulas and problem solving techniques involved in each. The great men and women of science are usually mentioned only in passing, as the discoverer of this process, or the developer of that theory. Little or no consideration is given to the characters or personalities of the men and women themselves, or to the human and ethical problems that they faced as they made their discoveries. Students will be asked to form their own opinions of the great men and woman of science by looking at them through their own words as they appear in autobiographies, essays, letters and other papers. It is hoped that by incorporating this study of the more personal aspects of the scientist and his work into the rather rigid curriculum of a science course, that the process of scientific research can be humanized.

(Recommended for 10th, 11th and 12th grades Chemistry, Physics, and Advanced Biology)

Key Words

Personalities Science History Basic Skills Investigation Autobiography Physiology Hormones

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