Our triple science classes are named after scientists, in the past we have had a male and a female but last year when the classes were emailed round they were both named after male scientists. Both of these scientists had made important contributions but I was disappointed that we didn’t have a female scientist represented. My Head of Department said that if I could suggest some names that we hadn’t already used then he was happy to change the name of one of the classes.
I spent the evening researching different female scientists and the next morning I presented him with a list of suitable candidates. I was allowed to choose a name for my class and opted for Hodgkin. I decided that I needed to do something with all the research that I had collected, that other people needed to know who these women were, what their stories were and what amazing contributions they had made.
My display was inspired by a visit to a musuem and their collection of butterflies. I created butterflies out of different scrapbook papers and put the name of a scientist underneath. I then added the biographies around the butterflies. Initially the display was in my classroom but one of the technicians suggested that we move it to the corridor so that everyone could learn about these women, not just the students that I teach.
Over the last year I have enjoyed watching staff, students and visitors to the school reading my display (it’s outside one of the school meeting rooms). I have regularly referred to the display during lessons and I have encouraged students to read about the contributions that these women made.
My display has recently been updated to celebrate science in Cambridge as this is where my school is. The display does now include male scientists too but I also included some new female scientists – actually, one of them was the inspiration for the change. One of the admin ladies at school came to see me with some information about her Great Aunt who had carried out important research in Cambridge and she wanted to know if she qualified for the butterfly display – she definitely deserves a place in the display and I love that the display has a special link with a member of our staff.
The reason that I am sharing my display now is because of this recent post:
I would be really disappointed if my boys came home from school with homework like this. Science is for everyone.
I’ve attached 2 powerpoint presentations with the bios for the scientists that have been included in my displays.