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Women in Science
Subject: Science, History of Science
Grade: 9-12

Brief Description

Women have encountered various obstacles in the fields of science through the years. This lesson features a study of various women (past and present) and the ways in which these women have overcome the obstacles presented to them because of their sex or ethnicity.


  1. To compare the obstacles faced by women throughout the world
  2. To appreciate the manner in which these women have overcome various obstacles.
  3. To communicate with a real female scientist.


  • cultural understanding
  • scientific inquiry
  • history of women in science

Materials Needed

Students gather ask-an-expert sites, propose leading questions and organize their own engaged learning activity. Use the following site as an example of this successful lesson:


Lesson Plan

Adapt your own lesson plan from our completed project:

  • We gathered for lunch time discussions and began the study of the topic. The students decided on the which topic to pursue.
  • They gathered possible questions and web sites (see site above for possible questions). From the gathered questions, the individual groups decided on a focus and developed their project.
  • The project lasted 5 weeks; The student decision making was the most marvelous process I've ever engaged in. The research was authentic and student directed.
  • Successful female scientists were very kind about responding to the girls. It was a marvelous time of students being responsible for their own learning.


The students presented their web pages in a whole group gathering and were evaluated using a student designed rubric.

Lesson Plan Source

Submitted by Sr. Maureen Fallon, [email protected]
Notre Dame High School for Girls, Chicago, IL, USA


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