In this International Women’s Day lesson plan, introduce your children to famous female scientists and try a simple science experiment.
Famous female scientists to inspire children
Let’s challenge the idea that science and math is for boys and reading and writing is for girls. Today, a part of our International Women’s Day Unit, we’ll learn about famous female scientists and then we can try a hands-on science experiment.
Start by reading this comic which challenges the idea of who is good at science.
Meet the scientists
Let’s celebrate the amazing scientist who have led the world forward and can inspire us to explore the sciences too.
Katherine Johnson worked for NASA and developed the math and physics needed to send spacecraft to the Moon and Mercury.
Jane Goodall is considered to be the world’s leading expert on chimpanzees and is a champion of conservation and animal welfare issues.
Gertrude Elion was a biochemist who helped develop medicine to treat leukaemia.
Maryam Mirzakhani’s innovation in math and geometry pushed forward understanding and she was awarded the Fields Medal, the most prestigious award in mathematics.
Mae Jemison is a doctor and astronaut who flew on the 50th shuttle flight, spending eight days and nights in space.
Photos; Katherine Johnson by NASA, in the public domain; Jane Goodall by Muhammad Mahdi Karim, permission granted through the GNU Free Documentation License; Gertrude Elion by GlaxoSmithKline plc, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license; Maryam Mirzakhani’s by Gert-Martin Greuel, free use; Mae Jemison by NASA, in the public domain
Let’s explore science
Scientists look at things closely, ask questions, wonder, try out new ideas, and sometimes discover new things that can change lives.
Let’s be scientists ourselves today by trying out a hands-on science activity. You could pick one of these two ideas or try them both.
As you play, be inspired by the scientists you have learned about today and think about the materials you are exploring.
What do you wonder about as you play?
What questions can you ask about the materials?
How could you explore more?
Science experiment one: goop
Science experiment two: potion lab
Want more activities for International Women’s Day? Download the complete International Women’s Day Unit here.
Download your ready-made International Women’s Day Unit
Download your copy of the Play Academy’s ready-made International Women’s Day Unit and you’ll be ready to lead an engaging programme of age-appropriate International Women’s Day lesson plans centred on celebrating women’s achievements, raising awareness against bias, and taking action for equality.
In this International Women’s Day Unit all children can:
:: learn about International Women’s Day: what it is and why it’s important
:: learn about famous women scientists and try a science experiment
:: learn about artist Maria Prymachenko and try an art project
:: interview an inspiring woman they know
:: meet a girl who spoke up and changed the world
:: make their own pledge for change
Bonus International Women’s Day thematic unit printables
The Play Academy’s thematic units come with practical printables that make the lessons more engaging for your children and easier for you to teach.
No need to go searching for printables to accompany your lessons, they’re all included when you download your chosen unit.
In this International Women’s Day Unit you’ll receive these bonus printables:
:: a Who does what job? discussion printable
:: a Who does what thing? discussion printable
:: An Inspiring Woman I Know question cards
:: Pledge posters to customise
How to download this International Women’s Day thematic unit
You can download this unit along with over 50 more from NurtureStore’s Play Academy.
If you are already of the Play Academy, you can download this unit straight away from our Library here.
If you are not yet a member, find out more and choose your first unit here. Your teaching is about to get a whole lot easier!