Monday, March 24, 2014

Women's History Month - Women in Science and Exploration

President Jimmy Carter first established the week of March 8 as National Women’s History Week back in 1980. In 1986, this was made into Women History Month.  Each year there is a new theme, and this year’s is "Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment."

This webquest will ask you to read some articles, gather some basic information, answer some thought questions, and then do a short reflection on seven women who were pioneers in science and exploration.

You should write your answers in a Google Document titled "Your Name" - Women's History Webquest and share it with me at

This will be your first grade of the second marking period!

Part I: Fact Finding

1. Elizabeth Blackwell was the first female doctor in the United States and it certainly wasn’t easy for her.
- Why did Geneva Medical School in New York accepted Elizabeth for medical school?________
- Medical school was very difficult for the first female student. What was she forbidden to attend?
- When she completed her medical training, what two problems did she face when she returned to practice in New York?________
- Eventually, Elizabeth opened a women’s medical college in 1868.  What two things did she emphasize to her students? ___________________

Find the answers at this link:

2. Sally Ride was the first American woman, and youngest of either gender, to go into space. Two elementary schools the USA are named in her honor.
- In which year did she make history?_______________
- What was the name of the space vehicle?________________
- How long was she in space? ______________
- What was a sport she excelled in playing? ______________
- After her death in 2012, what was named in her honor? _______________

Find the answers at this link:

3. Amelia Earhart was a famous female aviator who set a number of flight records.
- She was the first woman to be a passenger in an airplane crossing which ocean ______________
- What was the name of the airplane and in which year was this done?____________
- The following year she flew herself cross the same ocean, in a flight that took how long? ______
- Which president gave her a medal for her achievement? _______________
- She went on to become the first woman to fly from California to _____________.
- In 1937, she went missing while trying to become ________________.
- Who was her navigator for the journey?_____________

Find the answers at this link:

4. Clara Barton, a teacher and nurse, was called the Angel of the Battlefield, for risking her own life going onto the battlefields to care for soldiers during the Civil War. She barely missed being wounded when a bullet went through her sleeve,killing the soldier she was aiding.
- Before the war, she worked at the _______________ in Washington ,DC.
- What did she feel was unfair?___________________
- After the war, what lead her to work on locating missing soldiers? _________________
- She helped to establish which organization in the USA?______________
- Originally started to help soldiers, what other specific disasters did the organization start to aid?

Find the answers at this link:

5. Jane Goodall is a scientist who specializes in primatology and helped to change the way we think of primates and especially chimpanzees.
- What was her method of studying the chimps?_______________
- What famous anthropologist did Jane meet and work with?___________________
- What two positive character traits did this scientist see in Jane? ___________________
- Goodall spent ________ years, instead of the planned three years, near Lake Tanganyika, southeastern Africa,studying chimps.
- Instead of assigning numbers to the chimps as other researchers did, Goodall used this.____________
- What did she discover that changed the way scientists looked at the animals,something only humans were thought to be able to do?____________________
- What three areas has Goodall also helped to focus her attention back home?___________________

Find the answers at this link:

6. Sacagawea was the guide and scout for the Lewis and Clark Expedition,between 1805-1806. Interestingly, she brought along her young son that she’d given birth to only two months earlier!
- A member of the Lemhi people,which Native American tribe was this?_________________
- Although her name has been said to mean_______________, others say that the name actually means _______________.
- Who was president at  the time of the expedition?___________________
- What was the purpose of the expedition?___________________
- What had Sacagawea done a couple of days early for which Lewis and Clark thanked her by naming a branch of the Missouri River after her?_______________________
- What were two ways her knowledge helped the expedition?
- Which water body did the expedition reach?__________

Find the answers at this link:

7. Marie Curie was a scientist who was the first person to receive two Nobel Prizes. She is credited with discovering the elements Polonium and Radium.
- What were the two Nobel Prize categories for which she won?_____________
- During World War 2, what were the “little Curies” that Marie set up?_______________________"
- How many soldiers was her idea estimated to have helped?_____________________
- What was the cause of her death?_______________
- What use have people found for her discovery?______________________
- With which other famous scientists did Curie become friends?______________________

Find the answers at this link:

Part II: Some thought questions...

1. If you had the opportunity to interview one of these seven women, what would you ask?  Write three questions and explain why these are the things you would want to know.

2. What qualities do you see that each of these seven women possess?  Use the "qualities of a true hero" list on the wall to come up with ideas.

3. Choose one of the seven women and give specific examples from her life that shows evidence of her having three of those qualities.

Part III: Reflection

1. Explain how you think that our community values of empathy, justice, and empowerment are represented in these women and their lives.

2. How do their stories make you feel about your own level of empathy, empowerment, and ability to affect justice in your own life?

If you are finished, click this link and try your hand at the honors assignment.

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