The Making of a Scientist is the 6th chapter in the class 10 English NCERT book Footprints Without Feet. The author of The Making of a Scientist is Robert W. Peterson and it is based on the real-life of a young scientist Richard H. Ebright. This blog brings you a complete summary and important questions and answers on The Making of a Scientist chapter in Class 10.
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Summary of The Making of a Scientist
‘The Making of a Scientist’ is about a young curious boy who becomes a scientist later in his life. Being an only child he didn’t have much to do growing up north of Reading, Pennsylvania but his hobby became collecting things like coins, butterflies, fossils and stargazing became another activity he loved. As Richard reaches second grade, he is able to collect the complete list of 25 butterfly species found in the town he lives.
After the death of his father when he was in third grade, he and his mother became each other’s companions. His mother would encourage his curiosity by getting him science-related equipment like telescopes, microscopes, mounting materials and other equipment he needed. On one such occasion, she got a book for him to read titled The Travels of Monarch X through which he got to know about the migration of Monarch butterflies. This was the start of his interest in real science from where he never looked back.
In this book, the readers were asked to help Dr Urquhart in studying the migration of the butterflies at the end. This led to this young collector’s time being spent tagging butterflies, then growing them in his basement which was home to thousands of these butterflies for a few years. Tagging butterflies being a tedious task with not much feedback he lost interest. In the summary of the Class 10 chapter on The Making of a Scientist, Richard’s close encounter with science happens in his seventh grade with the county science fair where he lost but this encouraged him to do experiments and win in the county and international fairs.
During his second year in high school, Richard’s research resulted in him finding an unknown insect hormone that actually produces the monarch pupa’s spots. He found out that this hormone helped in the full development of the butterfly. He won third place in the international fair and got a chance to work in Walter Reed Army Institute of research where he went back twice later in his life as well. After his freshman year at Harvard, he actually found out the chemical structure of this hormone. He and his roommate worked on it and came up with the theory explaining how the cells read the blueprint of the DNAs. They wrote an article explaining the theory which got published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. This scientific journal had never published a college student’s work ever before. After graduating second from his class at Harvard he started working on testing his theory on cell life. If this theory turns out to be true then it would be a big breakthrough in the prevention of certain diseases like cancer and such.
All this was possible due to his curiosity, competitive nature, hard work and determination to go the extra mile which are the key qualities in the making of a scientist highlighted through this Class 10 chapter.
Important Questions and Answers
Robert W. Peterson wrote the story, The Making of a Scientist.
Richard Ebright is a scientist who gave the theory about cell life and about how cells read DNA. He has been honoured with the Searle Scholar Award and Schering Plough Award for biochemistry and molecular biology.
Richard lost interest in tagging butterflies because it was a very tedious task and the feedback was very less. Only 2 out of all the butterflies he tagged were recaptured and not very far from his home. With a young curious mind like his he found better ways to occupy himself.
Everyone believed that the golden spots on the pupa of the monarch butterfly are ornamental and just for show but Dr. Urquhart didn’t believe in that.
The ingredients in the making of a scientist are a first rate mind, curiosity, will to win for the right reasons according to the writer.
The message of the story is to keep indulging in your curiosity and working hard for your goals.
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Taking the extra mile always paves the way to success just like Ebright’s hard work led him to become a great scientist. Hope this blog on Class 10 The Making of a Scientist summary helped you understand the chapter better. Confused about finding the best stream after 10th? Our Leverage Edu counsellors are here to help you select the right stream as per your interests and aspirations.