Who is a Scientist? - Bobcat Laboratories
We spent the day discussing our ideas of who scientists are and what scientists do.  Every year I become a little more hopeful about how science is viewed by the 5th grade students.  Although the majority of students still imagine a scientist as being a middle-age white male who works in a chemistry lab, the proportion of students that come to school with drawings of women scientists, scientists of diverse heritages, and scientists who are working outside seems to increase each year.  Here are a few of the pictures from the classes. You will notice that in addition to chemists, there is a forensic anthropologist (a person who studies bodies to solve crimes), a viticulturalist (a person who studies grapes and wine), an entomologist (a person who studies insects), and a microbiological geneticist (a person who studies DNA and bacterial species genetics).  After our discussion, I am sure that each of the 5th-graders now envision a wide array of scientist possibilities.

Most importantly, I think that they all will now see themselves as scientists - which is true becasue the ask questions, seek answers, have discoveries, and formulate ideas about how the world works every single day.

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