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Marie Skłodowska Curie, was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. Read on to learn more about the wonderful life & achievements of Marie Curie or alternatively download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- Marie Curie was born on November 7, 1867 in Warsaw, Poland, when it was under the control of the Russian Empire.
- Her parents, both teachers, had 4 other children. Marie was the youngest of the 5.
- Her birthname was Maria, but her parents called her Manya.
- She was able to read and write early, thanks to her parents being teachers.
- Her family life was not always pleasant, as her father was fired from his job for being Polish, and was forced to accept a pay cut because of this.
- When Marie was 10, her oldest sister died, and then 2 years later, her mother died. This made for a difficult time for Marie.
- Under the Russian government, speaking, reading, or writing Polish was outlawed. People were punished for doing so. Marie’s family did not like the rules the government enforced.
- In order to help their family make money, Marie’s family took in children who wanted to learn how to read and write Polish, and so they taught the children in private. Marie was also sent to a secret school so she could learn.
- Marie and her sister made a pact to help each other get into college. The way it worked was that Marie would help her sister pay for her college, then when her sister graduated, she’d help Marie pay to go.
- While Marie was earning money to help her sister, she taught poor children how to read and write, and also worked as a governess.
- The University Marie attended was in France in 1891. She read lots of books before she left for University on math and physics. She knew she wanted to become a scientist.
- Marie enjoyed University, as she learned lots of new things. After 3 years, she earned her physics degree.
- As she continued to work, she met Pierre Curie, who was also a scientist.
- The two fell in love and got married, and had 1 daughter named Irene.
- After the discovery of x-rays and their potential powers by Wilhelm Roentgen and Henri Becquerel, Marie decided that the importance of uranium (a chemical element) would be a good area to focus her research on. She began doing experiments in this field.
- With the help of her husband, Pierre and Marie spent lots of time investigating the properties of “pitchblende”, which is now referred to as uraninite, in their science labs.
- She discovered that radiation came from an atom, rather than the interaction between molecules.
- Pierre and Marie came up with the term “radioactivity”.
- Radioactivity described elements that emitted strong rays.
- In 1903, Marie and Pierre, along with Henri Becquerel, received the Nobel Prize in physics for their work in radiation. Marie became the first woman to win this prize.
- In 1904, she had another daughter named Eve. Her husband tragically died two years later in 1906 in a street accident.
- They both discovered and named two new elements on the periodic table, radium and polonium. Polonium was named for her birthplace of Poland. Radium is the Latin for “ray”.
- In 1911, Marie won another Nobel Prize, but this time in chemistry, for discovering these two elements. This meant she was the first woman to receive 2 Nobel Prizes. She became famous, and eventually doctors realized that they could use radiation to treat cancer.
- During WWI, Marie’s work on radiation allowed doctors to examine wounded soldiers using X-ray machines. Since there weren’t enough to go around, Marie suggested that they be moved around on a truck to examine soldiers on location. These portable X-rays became known as “little Curies”.
- In 1921, Marie founded the Curie Institute in Paris, which operates as a major cancer research facility to this day.
- In 1932, Marie opened an institute that focused on specialized cancer research and treatment. She called it the “Radium Institute”, but the name was later changed to the “Maria Skłodowska-Curie Institute of Oncology” after WWII.
- Marie Curie died on July 4, 1934 from overexposure to radiation. This was not only a result from her repeated exposure to radiation from her experiments, but also from her work with X-ray machines.
- In later years, her daughter Irene won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for her work with aluminum and radiation.
- Her other daughter Eve, wrote a biographical book about her mother’s life.
- To this day, special precautions are taken by scientists to prevent overexposure to radiation.
Marie Curie Worksheets
This bundle contains 11 ready-to-use Marie Curie Worksheets that are perfect for students who want to learn more about Marie Skłodowska Curie who was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity.
Download includes the following worksheets:
- Marie Curie Facts.
- Thinking Questions.
- Letter to Marie Curie.
- Marie Curie Wordsearch.
- Quote Analysis.
- True or False?
- Marie Curie Unscrambling.
- Marie Curie Crossword.
- A Scientific Invention.
- Matching Game.
- Marie Curie Coloring Page
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Link will appear as Marie Curie Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, August 15, 2017
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.