- Begin the lesson by asking students to draw a picture of what they think a scientist looks like. Tell them to include details, such as clothes the scientist wears, the setting in which that person works, and the tools and equipment used. Give students about 10 minutes to complete their drawings.
- Collect the drawings and display them around the class. Do the drawings show a combination of men and women? Are the scientists from different ethnic groups? Are the scientists working in different settings? If students’ drawings reflect the stereotype of a scientist as a white male in a laboratory, lead a discussion about the tremendous variety of scientists.
- Discuss with students the characteristics of scientists. First, ask students for their ideas. What words would students use to describe scientists? Help them understand that such phrases as curious, asking a lot of questions (inquisitive), adventurous, thoughtful, careful, and thorough are good ways to describe scientists. Keep a list of these phrases around the classroom so that students can add to them as they work on the modules in the program.
- Tell students that all scientists share one thing in common—a desire to find answers to their questions. Ask students how they think scientists go about finding out what they need to know. Keep a list of their ideas.
- Ask students if they would like to work on solving problems, just as scientists do. Tell them that they will have an opportunity to do so by working with older students, shown in the video; they will have the opportunity to become members of the Brain Power!Club.
- To conclude, show students the Module 1 segment of the videotape. They will see an animated character named Corty. Tell students that Corty will help guide them through the problems presented in the modules.
- Ask students if their ideas about scientists and science have changed as a result of working on this module. If so, how have their ideas changed? Do they now have a different image of who scientists are and what they do?
- To help students solidify their new ideas about scientists, ask them to draw a second picture of what they think scientists look like, where they work, and the tools that they use. As a class, compare the two pictures. What do the new pictures reveal about students’ changing ideas about scientists?