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Lesson 1

Lesson 2

Lesson 3

Lesson 4

Profiles of Scientists


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Teachers' Guide

To help students better understand the transistor and its impact on technology, the documentary and Website Transistorized! is accompanied by this Teachers' Guide. It was produced by Twin Cities Public Television in collaboration with ScienCentral and the American Institute of Physics, and made possible by a grant from the Lucent Technologies Foundation.

The Teachers' Guide includes a range of activities, appropriate for middle-school or high-school use, plus a series of profiles of young scientists and their work. See also our Teacher's Guide to Moments of Discovery, and another Website using history to enhance high-school science teaching. (Among other possibilities, students could compare what they find there to the story of the transistor's discovery.)

Table of Contents

Lesson 1: The Story of the Transistor
Students view the video Transistorized! and discuss key factors that led to the invention of the transistor.

Lesson 2: Scientists at Work
Students select an electronic invention and research who and what contributed to it.

Lesson 3: Transistors in Your Life
Students hunt for transistor-based devices and explain how the transistor affects their lives.

Lesson 4: Using Transistors
Students build circuits to see how transistors function as switches or amplifiers.

Profiles of Scientists


Transistorized! Video Index

Act I    01:00–18:00 (18 min)
Hell’s Bell’s Laboratory
The birth of Bell Labs and early advances in electronics.

Act II     18:00–30:00 (12 min)
Miracle Month
Intense research at Bell Labs leads to the first working transistor.

Act III     30:00–48:00 (18 min)
Glory & Intrigue
Advances produce the first transistor radios, but the team of inventors breaks apart.

Act IV     48:00–55:00 (7 min)
Smaller, Cheaper, Faster
The integrated circuit and the Information Age.

Correlations of Transistorized! Lessons to National Science Education Standards

Science Content Standards
Grades 9–12

Unifying Concepts and Processes
   Systems, order, and organization
   Evidence, models, and explanation
   Change, constancy, and measurement
   Form and function
Science as Inquiry
   Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry

   Understandings about scientific inquiry
Physical Science
   Structure and properties of matter

   Motions and forces
   Conservation of energy and increase in disorder

   Interactions of energy and matter

Science and Technology
   Abilities of technological design
   Understandings about science and technology
Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
   Science and technology in local, national, and global challenges
History and Nature of Science
   Science as a human endeavor
   Nature of scientific knowledge

   Historical perspectives

The documentary Transistorized! may be recorded off-air and used in classrooms for three years. Lessons and worksheets may be freely copied for classroom use. To order a copy of the video Transistorized! and the Teacher's Guide, call PBS Learning Media at 1-800-344-3337.

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