The Making of a Scientist Class 10 | W. Peterson | Chapter 6 | English |


 The Making of a Scientist Class 10 by Robert W. Peterson

Summary of The Making of a Scientist

The Making of Scientist teaches us that everything is possible if one is determined to do anything. It revolves around a prodigy namely Richard Ebright who did a magnificent work in the field of science. He had always been inquisitive about the butterflies around him. As a result, he started collecting them at a tender age. Moreover, he was influenced by a book called ‘The Travel of Monarch X’ which was gifted to him by his mother. That book proved to be a turning point of his life for it introduced him to the gigantic world of science and paved his way for being one of the greatest scientists.

He undertook many assignments especially the one wherein he tried to figure out the prime reason of the illness that led to the death of all the monarch caterpillars. Initially, he considered beetle responsible for their death but he was proved wrong when he started rising caterpillars in the presence of beetles. On the other hand, one of his projects got the best prize in zoology and the third best in country science fair. He learned a lot in the supervision and guidance of Dr. Urquhart who taught him to simplify the most complex of the situations.

In his later years, he discovered an unknown insect hormone which further led to invention of a new theory based on the lives of cells. Ebright tried his level best to figure out the reason of tiny golden spots found on the back of pupa. To his surprise, he was ranked number one in country science fair and he got a chance to work with Walter Reed Army Institute of research.

Being a high school student, he moved on with his experimental skills till he was able to recognize and identify the chemical structure of hormones. In his new theory, he researched that cells can read the blueprint of its DNA. He moved further in his life with his experience and ultimately graduated from Harvard.

He was an outgoing person who had keen interest in public speaking, debating and photography too. He always wanted to give his best no matter what the circumstance was. Wherever he went, he made his presence feel there. He had all the personality traits of being a good scientist.


Short Answer Type Questions of The Making of a Scientist

Read and Find Out (Page 32)

Question 1. How did a book become a turning point in Richard Ebright’s life?
Answer: After reading the book, ‘The Travels of Monarch X,’ Richard became interested in tracking the migration of butterflies. He started his other projects and experiments because of this interest. Finally, he became a great scientist.

Question 2. How did his mother help him?
Answer: Richard’s mother helped him a lot. She took him on trips and bought scientific equipment for him. She spent all her time in setting up challenges for him. This helped Richard learn a lot of things, especially about science. One day she gave Richard the book ‘The Travels of Monarch X’. This book changed his life forever because after reading

Page 34

Question 1. What lesson does Ebright learn when he does not win anything at a science fair?
Answer: Ebright went to a science fair and showed slides of frog tissues. He did not win any prize. He learned that science is not just about showing things. It’s about projects and experiments. From that day, he started conducting experiments.

Question 2. What experiments and projects does he do then undertake?
Answer: He studied a type of butterfly. He did experiments with them to show that they copied another type of butterfly. He also studied bright spots on the pupa and found a new hormone. And he researched how cells read their DNA.

Question 3. What are the qualities that go into the making of a scientist?
Answer: Scientists need three important qualities. First, they need a first-rate mind. Second, they need curiosity. And last but not least, they must want to do their best and win!

Think About It (Page 38)

Question 1. How can one become a scientist, an economist, a historian … ? Does it simply involve reading many books on the subject? Does it involve observing, thinking and doing experiments?
Answer: Reading books is not enough to understand a subject. One needs to think and perform experiments too. One needs to have curiosity, explore, and learn something new. Above all, one must work hard and not give up when it is difficult or they fail at something.

Question 2. You must have read about cells and DNA in your science books. Discuss Richard Ebright’s work in the light of what you have studied. If you get an opportunity to work like Richard Ebright on projects and experiments, which field would you like to work on and why?
Answer: DNA carries the blue print of life, which means it passes information from one generation to the other. If I get the chance to work like Richard Ebright, I would want to study about diseases. Studying DNA may help me find ways and means to cure many illnesses.

Talk About It (Page 38)

Question 1. Children everywhere wonder about the world around them. The questions they ask are the beginning of scientific inquiry. Given below are some questions that children in India have asked Prof. Yash Pal and Dr. Rahul Pal as reported in their book, Discovered Questions. (published by NCERT in 2006).

  1. What is DNA fingerprinting? What are its uses?
  2.  How do honeybees identify their own honeycombs?
  3. Why does rain fall in drops?

Can you answer these questions? You will find Prof. Yash Pal’s and Dr. Rahul’s answers (as given in Discovered Questions) on Page 75.

  1. DNA fingerprinting is a process that identifies the characteristics of your DNA. It is often used in tests to see if you are someone’s parent and it can also be used in crime investigations to try to identify a person or place them at the scene of a crime.
  2. Honeybees leave trails to help other honeybees find their honeycomb.
  3. Air is made up of many things. Dust particles are in the air. When water vapour gets too heavy, it falls to Earth and becomes a drop on a dust particle that it has used as a centre of attraction.

Question 2. You also must have wondered about certain things around you. Share these questions with – your class, and try and answer them.
Answer: Do it yourself


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