Student Council Winners for the
"My Favorite Scientist" Essay Contest

By Elizabeth, Grade 1

Galileo was a scientist who lived in Italy.  He lived from 1564 to 1642.  Galileo thought it was important for a scientist to do his or her own experiment and take good notes.

He was interested in astronomy.  When he heard of a new invention called the telescope, he made a much better one.  Using his telescope, Galileo saw many more objects.  He could see that the moon was rough, that Saturn had rings and he saw four moons revolving around Jupiter.  But best of all, Galileo scientifically proved that the Earth and other planets revolved around the sun.  This was different than what most people and the Church thought.  They thought the Earth was the center of the solar system.

I like Galileo because he discovered more about the solar system.  I like the solar system.

By Alexander, Grade 4

Michael Faraday was born to an extemely poor family in London, England.  As a child, he was constantly asking questions.  He probably asked questions like:

Faraday's father was a blacksmith, a worker who makes things out of metal.  When his father warmed up the forge, Michael asked him why horseshoe nails melted, but the anvil he used did not.  When his sister, Margaret, was an infant learning how to walk, Faraday wondered and experiemented over and over because he wanted to know what made people walk.

His family was extremely poor.  One day Michael's mother told him to stop going to school and he had to look for a job.  So Michael became an errand boy for a bookbinder, Mr. Riebau.

Riebau did a few things to earn money.  The first thing he did was to sew pages together, t hen glue the covers that were usually leather on, to protect the book more.  He also made old books look better.  He even took the covers off to glue new ones on.  And the last, which would seem the strangest to us, was to give newspapers to Faraday to take door to door.  An errand boy like Michael in his time was important because people couldn't afford things.  After Michael's door-to-door run, he had to clean the shop.  But there was an instance where Michael answered a question.  Mr. Riebau came up to him and asked him if he would make his home there and become an apprentice.

Faraday read every single book he bound.  But, the books asked new questions and answered old.  Michael made himself a notebook to input all of his questions.  Michael came across the encyclopedia.  He read the "e" section.  In it there was everything from "egg" to "elephant".  Michael skipped some sections, but when the word electricity came up, Michael read from top to bottom.  He found out many things that were unfamiliar to him, like where the word electric comes from; the Greek word meaning amber, dried tree sap.  A long, long time ago, the Greeks rubbed amber with a soft cloth and it picked up bits of paper.

Faraday read about an invention called the Leyden jar.  This was just a glass jar with a cork in the top.  Half up the inside and outside was covered with aluminum.  A brass rod went through the cork.  This device was used to store an electric charge.

A scientist in France, using the Leyden jar, wanted to know if electricity would flow through human bodies.  He hooked up seven hundred monks hand to hand.  When one touched the jar, all 700 jumped in the air!

One day, Riebau started bragging about Faraday and his experiments to a customer named Mr. Dance.  Mr. Dance asked Michael if he had ever been to a lecture given by Sir Humphrey Davy.  Michael said he hadn't.  So Mr. Dance bought Faraday tickets to four of the lectures.  When the night for the first lecture came, Michael walked through the streets until he came to the Royal Institution.  Michael wrote down everything Humphrey said.  He put all the notes into his notebook.  When he was finished, the notebook was 386 pages!  But the lectures just gave Michael more questions.

Michael was 22 years old when he sent his notes and a letter to Davy asking to work for him.  One night, in 1813, there was a loud rap at the door.  Faraday opened it and there stood a footman in livery with a note.  It said: Michael, please call next morning at the Royal Institution. --Sir Humphrey Davy.

Sir Humphre Davy said that he had to fire an assistant because they got into an argument.  He said he needed someone to manage the equipment, keep records and prepare for experiments.  He gave Michael one guinea a week and food and he got to live in the Royal Institution.

There was another adventure in Faraday's life.  There was an explosion in a coal mine that killed several people.  Faraday was called in to explain.  Michael took out a box of something, lit a candle and dropped it into the flame.  It popped and made lots of smoke.  It was gunpowder.

Later in Faraday's life (1831, to be exact), he was experimentin with electromagnets.  He had one failure after another.  He tried wrapping copper wire around a bar magnet, but nothing happened.  One day, the Royal Navy sent Faraday a box of codfish.  They asked him to test it to see if it was ok for the sailors to eat.  He started testing and noticed the round mouth of the tube he was using.  It made him think of trying a round magnet for his electromagnet.  He made a circle of iron and wrapped the wire around it.  He attached it to a galvenometer.  A galvanometer is a compass-like instrument with a needle that moves to show electric current.  When he attached the wire to the battery, the needle on the galvanometer moved a little, but stopped right away.  Faraday finally found out that the key to the experiment was motion.

Michael Faraday is my favorite scientist because he is a lot like me.  he was constantly asking questions, always curious.  But he answered those questions by experimenting.  Why can't Faraday still be alive?

So ends the story of Michael Faraday.  Remember, NEVER STOP ASKING QUESTIONS!

by Sydney, Grade 6

Albert Einstein was a very well-known and respected scientist of the 20th Century.  He was born on March 14, 1879 in Ulm, Germany.  Although he was not a good student, at the age of 12 he taught himself Euclidean geometry.  He finished secondary school at Arrau, Switzerland.  Later he entered the Swiss National Polytechnic Institute in Zurich.  While there he barely passed his courses.  His teachers did not pass him onto a level where he could teach.

He could not find a job so he worked as a substitute teacher and a tutor for two years.  In 1902, he got a job at the Swiss Patent Ofice.  In 1903, at the age of 24, Einstein married Mileva Maric.  He received his doctorate from the University of Zurich after publishing three papers on physics.  The year was 1905.  His third paper contained the theory of relativity.  He had a hard time explaining his theories.  Einstein finally got a teaching position in 1909 and worked at a number of different universities in Europe.  In 1921 he won the Nobel Prize in physics.  At that time he was a professor at the University of Berlin.  He left Germany in 1933 after Adolf Hitler came to power.  He became a professor at Princeton University in America.

Albert Einstein was a Jew.  He was a young adult when World War I was fought.  He was worried about Hitler and his views of the Jews.  He was a pacifist, which means someone who does not believe in war.  But he was afraid of what Hitler was going to do in Europe, so he decided to help make the atomic bomb in America.  After World War II, he tried to get all the nations to stop making atomic bombs.  He also was trying to get the United Nations to start the nation of Israel.  In 1952 he was nominated to become president of Israel.  He declined.

I think this man was great because of his theories.  many scientists of his day would laugh at his theories until they were proven.  When he was young, he had a hard time in school but he kept on trying and would not give up.  Many people believe that he was a dyslexic (like I am) because he had a hard time learning to speak, read, and write.  But he overcame these obstacles and kept on trying.

Not only was he interested in science, but he was interested in the world.  It was good that he left Germany so he wouldn't have been killed.  He wanted people to live in peace and he spoke to many groups about a peaceful world.  Einstein died in Princeton, New Jersey on April 18, 1955.

Return to For Kids! Page

Return to the CCS Home Page