In this activity, the girls get to think about what it would be like to be in the shoes of Marie Curie and come up with their own invention. It encourages creativity and develops their knowledge.
Give the girls some background information about Marie Curie: Marie Curie wasn’t always a famous scientist. She was a little girl born in Poland and her family had five children. Her parents were both teachers who loved poetry, books and learning and taught their children many things. Marie had a very loving family, but they weren’t always happy.
Their country was ruled by Russia. Marie’s family did not like the rules the Russian government made. It was against the law to speak Polish. It was against the law for girls to go to school. However Marie’s parents sent her to a secret school. She and her sister made a pact to help each other go to college. Marie worked as a governess to pay for her sister’s school. She secretly taught poor children how to read, which was against the law. She thought all people should be educated. Later, when Marie went to college she became a brilliant scientist.
Some facts about Marie Curie are:
• Marie discovered the radioactive substances, radium and polonium.
• Marie and her husband won a Nobel Prize for their work. She later won another Nobel Prize.
• Marie’s family ran a secret school.
• Marie’s sister, Bronia, became a doctor – something unheard of for women then.
• Marie’s husband, Pierre, was a scientist too. He and Marie often worked together.
Ask the girls to write or draw about what it would be like to be Marie Curie and what they would invent. Prompt the group with ‘If I were Marie Curie, I would invent…’ Ask them to think about: why would you invent this and who would benefit from your invention?
Marie Curie was awarded the Nobel Prize twice. This is a world renowned award for scientific advancements and other accomplishments.
The group can then honour Marie Curie for one or all of her amazing accomplishments. Ask them to think the character traits that enabled her to be so successful, such as being strong-willed, dedicated to work in hard conditions with very little money, etc.
Working individually or in pairs they then create the award out of construction paper and share their creation with the group
Writing and drawing paper
Pencils, crayons and/or markers
Coloured construction paper
Glue or glue sticks