Science Sampler: The scientist and artist in allby: Polly White

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Eliminate the faulty, stereotypical concept of the scientist and expose science as a diverse realm through this engaging and eye-opening activity. A class discussion and drawing activity bring students to understand that their perception of who scientists are and the nature of science can be enhanced by learning about the diversity of scientists; the environments in which they work; and the materials, equipment, and knowledge necessary in their fields.

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Reviews (2)
  • on Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:11 AM

Learning about the different types of scientists can be helpful at the beginning of a school year. This article describes how a teacher draws what a scientist looks like based on suggestions from the whole class. This then leads into a discussion of types of scientists. The activity culminates with groups learning about types of different scientists by portraying them artistically in their environment to use as pictures hung in the classroom. A sample image and some helpful websites are provided. This is a great way to decorate the classroom with student original work as they extend their knowledge of types of science. This is a win-win situation.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:58 PM

Using an activity like “Draw a Scientist” is something this author does with her middle school students during the first week of school. If one has never tried this activity, the author provides some instruction in how to engage students and make this a meaningful activity. The author references the earlier work of Barman (1997), and it has other interesting links about scientists that are listed in the Resources section at the end of the article. The original DAST (Draw a Scientist Test) study found that students had a stereotypical image of all scientists as being middle-aged, male, white Einstein-like individuals. If one is interested in helping change students’ perceptions of what a scientist looks like, there are additional articles available in the NSTA Learning Center that contain information about DAST and using the “Draw a Scientist” activity.

Carolyn M  (Buffalo Grove, IL)
Carolyn M (Buffalo Grove, IL)

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