Activity Overview: Science is a body of knowledge that builds upon past contributions. The nature of the scientific method builds on research, verification, and the synthesis of different scientists' work.
Energy technologies change over time based on the contributions of scientists working in synthesis over decades. The Energy Technologies: Change Over Time activity looks at the contributions of four key historical technologies. This activity focuses on the contributions of historical and contemporary scientists.
Time: This activity may be appropriate for a project-length homework assignment, as it requires research and analysis. If the activity is scheduled for class time, you may want to consider booking library or computer lab time to give students ample time to compile resources.
Students should identify a single historical or contemporary individual that made a significant contribution to the fields of energy, chemistry, physics, environmental science, or a related field. Students should explain the relationship between that scientist's work and previous and following work in the field. Special note should be made of collaboration, cross-disciplinary work, and the contribution of any women, minorities, or people of color. How have these contributions affected society, in terms of technology or products developed, structural change, or behavioral outcomes.