Putting the "I" in Scientist (Day 1 of 2)

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SWBAT research a famous scientist and create a poster to persuade their peers that their selection was the greatest scientific mind of all time.

Big Idea

Which scientist past or present would you try to "friend"? Students create a poster to represent a social media account for their favorite scientists and try to persuade their peers to vote for them! #biologyrocks #mynewBFF

Lesson Introduction - Making Connections With Students

1 minutes

This lesson is an opportunity for your students to connect their real world obsession of social media and technology with the greatest scientific minds of all time. Students will research a scientist and create a social media profile that would accurately reflect the scientist.  


Hook - An Introduction To A Legend

5 minutes

All of us want to be remembered for something great that we have accomplished in our lifetime.

Today's lesson allows the 9th grade Biology students an opportunity to delve into the world of scientific research and identify a prominent scientist that they can most identify with or most admire. Students watch the Great Minds: Rosalind Franklin video in hopes they will be inspired to learn more about the amazing minds and colorful personalities that have shaped our world through their dedication to scientific discoveries!  

As students watch the video, they are asked to record two strong personality characteristics that they possess and two eccentric characteristics that they admire in others.  This list of traits will used later in the lesson to assist students in identifying their subjects for their research project, "The Greatest Scientist Of All Time!"

Guided Practice - Discovering A Science Superstar

30 minutes

Students read the Science Superstar Project Handout that lists the names of scientists that have made great contributions to our understanding of science, with a special emphasis in Biology. Students have 5 minutes to do a quick search from the list of scientists in order to select a "science idol" that they believe is the greatest scientist of all time. To make it interesting, only one student can be assigned the task to research each scientist so there will be a wide perspective during the class discussion in tomorrow's lesson.

Once the scientists are selected, students record information such as:

  • birthdate and birthplace
  • family life and upbringing
  • education (formal or informal)
  • interests or hobbies
  • scientific accomplishments
  • characteristics or experiences in common with the student
  • awards and recognition


Students record their research findings on their own sheet of paper titled, "Greatest Science Mind Of All Time".

Independent Practice - Science Superstars On Social Media

15 minutes

Students use their research findings to create a poster on 11x14 paper to represent a social media profile for their selected Science Superstar. The goal is to have students bring their scientist to life in our classroom by using modern-day social media as a platform to promote their scientist's achievements or ideas. Students use the provided social media template as a guide for their creation.

Student Work Sample #1

Student Work Sample #2

Students will complete their posters as homework in preparation of tomorrow's lesson.

In an attempt to raise the stakes of competition, students are notified that there will be a Gallery Walk to showcase their creations tomorrow. A prize will be given to the class favorite for the project that is voted "Greatest Scientist Of All Time". Students need to report their research findings in a manner that provides evidence to persuade the class to believe that their scientist was the best scientific mind throughout history! Students can be creative with their presentations, but need to keep focus that there projects must be fact-based.  

A Gallery Walk is strategy that enables students to view their peer's work through an interactive process while rotating around the room. Each students' work will be displayed on the counters/desks around the perimeter of the room, so that every student has the opportunity to view their peers' work. To learn more about the Gallery Walk strategy watch the Teacher Reflection.

Close - Putting the "I" In Scientist

5 minutes

With five minutes remaining in the class period, students stop their work and engage in the class wrap-up discussion. Student volunteers are asked to share why they selected their scientist to research and provide one interesting fact they discovered in today's lesson.  

After five students have been given the opportunity to share their findings, the class begins to notice that they are researching individuals who come from all walks of life and have contributed science discoveries that span the spectrum of ingenuity. Students are reminded that they selected their scientist because they have something in common with the scientist or were inspired by their personal story.  

As a final close, students are asked to look around and notice that this classroom of students is as diverse as the scientists we are studying . . . and you never know when and where the next great science mind will be discovered.  

Students will complete their social media profiles for homework in preparation of tomorrow's Gallery Walk and presentations.