Marie Curie's Discovery

Grade Levels: 3 - 5


  • Students will use vocabulary related to radioactive elements.
  • Students will learn uses of new materials that scientists have developed.
  • Students will learn about Marie Curie's important discoveries in physics.



  1. Introduce key vocabulary: compound, element, energy, mineral, physicist, radiation, radioactivity.
  2. Have students visit and webpages about Marie Curie. Complete the worksheet using the information found at these websites.
  3. Have students work individually or with partners.
  4. Set up a time when students can share their information and stories.


  • Use students' worksheets and discussion contributions to assess their understanding of Marie Curie and her important discoveries.
  • Find a variety of assessment techniques to use with this lesson.
Extension Activities
  • Read and complete activities about other women in STEM fields.
  • Explore Women‘s History Month lessons and activities.
  • Have students explore other important discoveries in physics. Suggest that partners work together to make their own timeline showing five of the most interesting discoveries. Have students use the Internet as a reference.
  • Ask students to visit the EPA‘s Radiation Protection Pages ( where they will learn about radiation and radiation protection. This site is easy to navigate and provides a wealth of information. Before they leave the site, encourage students to do one or more of the following: take a quiz, calculate their annual dose of radiation, complete a word search or crossword puzzle.
  • Choose from a large collection of cross-curricular activities for all grade levels.

Standards Correlations

U.S. National Science Education Standards
Students develop an understanding that:

  • people of all ages, backgrounds, and groups have made contributions to science and technology throughout history.
  • scientific investigations involve asking and answering a question and comparing the answer to what scientists already know about the world.
  • scientists make the results of their investigations public; they describe the investigations in ways that enable others to repeat the investigations.

U.S. National Educational Technology Standards

  • demonstrate a sound understanding of the nature and operation of technology systems.
  • use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity.

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