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Nature of Science

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Teen Uses Science to Make Water Safe
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Name that Planet

Credit: Laura Guerin
Source: CK-12 Foundation
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

If you were to have a planet named after you, you would have to be a famous scientist, like Marie Curie or Albert Einstein, right? Not necessarily. You might just be a young teen who loves science, like Maria Elena Grimmett.

Amazing But True! 

  • Maria Elena Grimmett, who is pictured below, does indeed have a planet named after her. It’s a minor planet between Mars and Jupiter. 
  • Other minor planets are named after Marie Curie and Albert Einstein, so Maria Elena is in good company! 
  • What did she do to win this honor? She applied the scientific process to discover a way to remove antibiotics from drinking water.
  • According to Maria, “I got hooked on science because the scientific method is a series of logical steps that can identify and solve difficult problems and help the world.”

Share What You Know

With the links below, learn more about Maria Elena Grimmett’s research. Then answer the following questions

  1. Scientific investigations typically begin when observations lead someone to ask a question. What observations did Maria Elena make? What question did she ask?
  2. Scientists are often influenced by the work of other researchers. How did the research of another young scientist influence the direction of Maria Elena’s investigations?
  3. Describe Maria Elena’s award-winning investigation. What contaminant was she trying to remove from water? What method of removing it did she test?
  4. Like any good scientist, Maria Elena shared her research results with other scientists. How did Marie Elena communicate the results of her research to professional scientists?

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Laura Guerin; Source: CK-12 Foundation; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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