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Forgotten Genius

Viewing Ideas

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Before Watching

  1. Review with students a time line of Julian's life as well as the Jim Crow laws—state and local laws enforcing racial segregation—in force during much of his life. Discuss with students ways these laws may have impacted Julian's efforts to become a scientist. Find a time line and overview of Julian's life at

    www.pbs.org/nova/julian/lrk-whowasjulian.html

  2. Have students write down three character traits they think would be necessary to succeed in science. Write these traits on the board during a class discussion. Which three appear most often? Which do students think would be the most important ones to succeed? Why?

  3. Organize the class into five groups, and as students watch the program, have them take notes on the following topics: Julian's scientific achievements, his business achievements, the challenges and discrimination he faced in America while pursuing his education and career, the mentoring he received, and the actions he took to further civil rights.


After Watching

  1. Have students who took notes on the same topic meet, discuss their notes, and then prepare a short presentation for the class. What did Julian accomplish scientifically? What were his greatest challenges? Who helped him the most? How did he help others?

  2. Have students compare the traits they brainstormed earlier to those that Julian needed to succeed. Which of the traits did Julian have? Which traits did Julian have that students had not thought of? Would scientists of color today need those traits? Why or why not?

Teacher's Guide
Forgotten Genius
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