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Roles and Kinds of Scientists

Roles and Kinds of Scientists

TEKS Objective

The student is expected to identify what a scientist is and explore what different scientists do.

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Essential Understanding

The student knows that information and critical thinking, scientific problem solving, and the contributions of scientists are used in making decisions.

Science Background

What Does a Scientist Do? What Does a _____ Do? (website) - There are many different types of science careers, and the professionals who do this work play a critical role in shaping how we live. Read about what scientists do, the main categories of scientific research, training required for most scientists, and the fields of science expected to grow in the future.

What Does a Scientist Do?
What Does a ____ Do?

Signature Lesson

Images of Science: Science NetLinks (website) - Many people have no real sense of what a scientist actually does each day. This lesson includes activities that can be done individually or in series to enable students to explore, understand and identify the diversity of work that we call “science,” and of the people who do it.

Images of Science
Science NetLinks,


Supporting Lessons

Fun with Adhesives: Science of Everyday Life (PDF) - Students are challenged to think like a scientist or engineer as they design, test and report the results of a new adhesive made with common materials.

Fun with Adhesives
Science of Everyday Life,

Elaboration Lessons and Extensions

Sun Smarts: Young Scientist Challenge (PDF) - An open ended project in which students to play the role of a scientist by researching UV radiation, determining its impact on individuals and society, and studying ways to protect ourselves from harmful UV radiation. This activity was a prompt for a past online contest, but it is engaging and appropriate for this TEK.

Sun Smarts
Young Scientist Challenge,

Assessment Ideas

Careers in Science: Science Buddies (website) - Challenge students to chose two careers from different categories on this website and then make drawings showing how they think scientists in these fields look, including their clothing, equipment and workplaces.

Careers in Science
Science Buddies,

Literature Connections

What is a Scientist? Lehn, B. (ISBN-13: 978-0761312987)

Scientist Ask Questions. Garrett, G. (ISBN- 978-0516246628)

Related Science TEKS

(2.1A) Science Safety
The student is expected to identify and demonstrate safe practices as described in the Texas Safety Standards during classroom and outdoor investigations, including wearing safety goggles, washing hands, and using materials appropriately.

(2.1B) Importance of Safe Practices
The student is expected to describe the importance of safe practices.

(2.1C) Recycling/Disposal of Science Materials
The student is expected to identify and demonstrate how to use, conserve, and dispose of natural resources and materials such as conserving water and reuse or recycling of paper, plastic, and metal.

(2.2A) Ask Questions
The student is expected to ask questions about organisms, objects, and events during observations and investigations.

(2.2B) Plan and Conduct Descriptive Investigations
The student is expected to plan and conduct descriptive investigations such as how organisms grow.

(2.2C) Collect Data
The student is expected to collect data from observations using simple equipment such as hand lenses, primary balances, thermometers, and non-standard measurement tools.

(2.2D) Record and Organize Data & Observations
The student is expected to record and organize data using pictures, numbers, and words.

(2.2E) Communicate and Justify Explanations
The student is expected to communicate observations and justify explanations using student-generated data from simple descriptive investigations.

(2.2F) Comparing Results of Investigations
The student is expected to compare results of investigations with what students and scientists know about the world.

(2.3B) Make Predictions
The student is expected to make predictions based on observable patterns.

Related Math TEKS

2.12D    The student is expected to use tools such as real objects, manipulatives, and technology to solve problems.

2.13A    The student is expected to explain and record observations using objects, words, pictures, numbers, and technology.

Additional Resources

Cool Careers in Science: PBS (website) - Information about individual scientists who work in a variety of unusual fields, with cyber field trips to exotic places such as the Galapagos Islands.

Cool Careers in Science

Secret Lives of Scientists and Engineers: NOVA (website) - Students meet and learn about the diverse “non-science” interests of dozens of real scientists and engineers. Video interviews are personal and shed light on why these men and women chose to be scientists.

Secret Lives of Scientists and Engineers

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