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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

The Physicist's War: Dr. Herman Branson and the Scientific Training of African Americans during World War II

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
The mobilization of soldiers for World War II resulted in a worker shortage in the defense industries, especially in the fields of physics and other sciences. The Engineering, Science, and Management War Training program (ESMWT) was...
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

African American Physicists in the 1960s

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
Physicists Herman Branson and Tannie Stovall provide young scholars with two very different perceptions of the status of African American physicists in the 1960s. After reading and comparing the bios of these two men, class members read...
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

The Physical Sciences at Women's Colleges

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
After a brief introduction to the history of women's colleges in the United States and a discussion of the resistance such institutions faced, young scientists investigate seven traditionally women's colleges and their physics programs....
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

Eunice Foote: Scientist and Suffragette

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
The greenhouse effect and climate change are hot topics in today's news. Young scientists may be surprised to learn that the concept is not a new one. In fact, Eunice Newton Foote, scientist, inventor, and suffragette, discovered the...
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

Women and the Manhattan Project

For Teachers 9th - Higher Ed Standards
The Manhattan Project was a massive undertaking involving multiple sites and thousands of scientists and technicians. To gain an understanding of the women who participated in the project, groups select an oral history of a woman...
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

Physicist Activist: Dr. Elmer Imes and the Civil Rights Case of Juliette Derricotte

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
Elmer Imes was not only a brilliant physicist but also a civil rights activist. After an introductory lecture, groups read two articles about a traffic accident that killed one Fisk University student and injured several others. The...
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

The Physical Sciences at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
The history of science instruction at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) is the focus of a instructional activity that explores the early challenges these institutions faced in accessing equipment for their labs and...
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

The Tuskegee Weathermen: African-American Meteorologists during World War II

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
Chances are good that young scholars have heard of the Tuskegee Airmen but few would predict that these pilots had their own support in the form of the Tuskegee Weathermen. These Black meteorologists were recruited and trained to provide...
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

Meet Four Pioneering African American Astronauts

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
An out-of-this-world resource introduces young scientists to four African American astronauts: Michael P. Anderson, Ronald E. McNair, Guion S. Bluford Jr., and Jeanette J. Epps. Groups read biographies of these individuals and prepare...
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Historical Detective: Edward Alexander Bouchet and the Washington-Du Bois Debate over African-American Education

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
Young scientists meet Edward Alexander Bouchet who, in 1876, was the first African American to receive a PhD in Physics. This two-part lesson first looks at the debate between Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois about the type of...
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

Dr. Gates and the Nature of the Universe

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
What do Russian nesting dolls have to do with physics? They make a great demonstration tool for explaining Dr. Sylvester James Gates, Jr.'s string theory to young scientists. A two-part activity first introduces learners to Dr. Gates'...
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

African Americans and Life in a Secret City

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
Imagine the lure of being offered a job at a secret site, working on a secret project, and earning higher wages! Such was the approach used to recruit African Americans to Hanford, Washington, one of several sites used to develop...
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African Americans in Astronomy and Astrophysics

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
A two-part lesson focuses on the contributions to the fields of astronomy and astrophysics of two African Americans: Benjamin Banneker and Dr. George Carruthers. In part one, scholars learn about Benjamin Banneker by examining his...
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African Americans and the Manhattan Project

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
A instructional activity about the Manhattan Project will explode young physicists' understanding of the racial attitudes in the United States during and after World war II. Groups select an African American scientist or technician that...
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African American Inventors in History

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
A two-part lesson introduces young historians to the work of famous African American inventors. Groups first research and develop a presentation of an inventor that includes biographical information and information about one of their...
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When Computers Wore Skirts: Katherine Johnson, Christine Darden, and the “West Computers”

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
Did you know that people, known as computers, performed the complex calculations that are now done by electronic computers? Three of these human computers, Katherine Johnson, Christine Darden, and Melba Roy Mouton are featured in a...
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The Power of Active Listening

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
Listen up! The game of Telephone launches a study of active listening. Class members watch a short video that demonstrates active listening and tips on practicing active listening. Pairs then interview each other and practice their...
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The Watsons Go To Birmingham—1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
A primary source set of photographs, videos, newspaper articles, and FBI reports provides insight into race relations during the 1960s, the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing, and the murder of Emmitt Till. Designed to be used to...
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African American Soldiers in World War I

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
Finding good primary source materials to support any study of history can be a challenge and time-consuming. A set of 11 primary source letters, images, and text excerpts provide young historians with an opportunity to sharpen their...
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Women and the Blues

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
A 12-piece primary source packet sets the tone for a study of the role women played in the origins, development, and impact of blues music. Legends like Bessie Smith, Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Mamie Smith, and Ida Cox are featured, as are...
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The Poetry of Maya Angelou

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
Maya Angelou's work reflects her passion for life, civil rights, and justice for all. A collection of 12 primary sources provide scholars with insight into this amazing woman. The set includes photographs, articles, recordings of...
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

Heroes Are Made of This: Studying the Character of Heroes

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
What makes heroes and villains? A six-part unit plan asks young scholars to explore the concept of heroism and the characteristics they consider heroic and unheroic. Groups create character maps that focus on how characters are shaped by...
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Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise | Maya Angelou and the 1993 Inaugural Poem: “On the Pulse of Morning”

For Teachers 6th - 12th Standards
President Bill Clinton asked Maya Angelou to deliver a poem as part of his 1993 Inaugural Ceremony. Class members watch a clip of Angelou's presentation, do a close reading of the full text of the poem, and respond to discussion...
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Lesson Planet: Curated OER

Teaching Podcasting: Podcasting Overview

For Teachers 9th - 12th Standards
Listen up! After engaging in a discussion about podcasts, scholars listen to some examples of podcast episodes and radio shows. Next, listeners discuss the difference between scripted and question-and-answer podcasts.