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Want to Be a Scientist? Read These Biographies

by Miriam Downey 5. January 2015 08:06

I recently had the opportunity to see two movie biographies of famous scientists. The Theory of Everything about Stephen Hawking, the physicist, and The Imitation Game about the inventor of the computer, Alan Turing. Both of these movies portray science and scientists in a realistic light and are appropriate for high school students. If you have seen the movies, you might be interested in these biographies:

Stephen Hawking: Breaking the Boundaries of Time and Space by John Bankston

Alan Turing: The Architect of the Computer Age by Ted Gottfried.

Fewer young people are going into science careers, even though many young people are extremely interested in science and mathematics. Statistics have shown that STEM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) are being encouraged among young children, but that older students are opting for other career paths. Additionally, there are very few women beginning careers in the sciences. A recent article on the National Geographic website discusses the ways women are discouraged from pursuing careers in science. However, the trend seems to be changing as more careers in science are opening up. It is time again for young people to look to STEM for career choices.

This website has information about STEM careers.

This website has short biographies of famous scientists.

So, if you are really into science and mathematics and want to think about a career in the sciences, you need to get a realistic view of what such a career would look like. Reading biographies of scientists will be really valuable to you. Here are the names of several new biographies that might interest you. They are appropriate for grades 4-9 and will be available at your library or bookstore.

The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos by Deborah Heiligman. The story of a brilliant but unconventional mathematician.

Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different by Karen Blumenthal. The biography shows the influence of Jobs on our current technological world.

Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman. The story of Charles Darwin through the context of his marriage.

Rosalind Franklin and the Structure of Life by Jane Polcovar. The life of the English chemist who helped with the discovery of DNA.

Up Close, Jane Goodall by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen. An honest look at the famed biologist.

On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne. This picture book perfectly mirrors Einstein's endless search for answers.

Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein by Don Brown. Another excellent book about Einstein.

Electric Ben: The Amazing Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin by Robert Byrd. Emphasizes Franklin's scientific discoveries.

Starry Messenger by Peter Sis. The story of the astronomer, Galileo.

 

Tags:

Blog | Libraries, Library Books | Math | Science

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