Luke Howard, scientist
November 28, 1772-March 21, 1864
The Man Who Named the Clouds by Julie Hannah and Joan Holub, illustrated by Paige Billin-Frye (Albert Whitman, 2006)
From childhood, Howard was an intrepid cloud watcher. He kept weather journals and painted the clouds. As an adult, frustrated because a classification system for clouds did not exist, Howard created one. And it is still in use today.
Float on over to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to see photos of common cloud types and to read about the classification system.
Marie Curie, physicist and chemist
Nov. 7, 1867-July 4, 1934
Marie Curie by Leonard Everett Fisher (Atheneum, 1994)
Life as a pioneering scientist was not easy but Curie, a Polish-French pioneer in radioactivity persevered and ultimately won two Nobel Peace Prizes for her efforts.
Visit the Nobel Award site to read more about Curie.
Jacques Cousteau, scientist
June 11, 1910-June 25, 1997
The Fantastic Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau by Dan Yaccario (Knopf, 2010)
Cousteau loved the water and he spent his life exploring and protecting it. Along the way, he invented diving equipment and waterproof cameras. He sailed the world on the Calypso so we could see below the surface.
Cousteau.org includes news of the day, expeditions as well as information about technology and environmental programs.
Maria Merian, scientist
April 2, 1647-Jan. 13, 1717
Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Julie Paschkis (Henry Holt, 2010)
Although Europeans during the Middle Ages thought insects were evil, Maria Merian thought them beautiful and harmless. Through careful observation and study she eventually proved metamorphosis was a natural process. Written in first person, Merian’s account of her quest for truth during her thirteenth year is transformative.
The Academy of Natural Sciences shows the different stages of the life of a butterfly.
Albert Einstein: Scientist, physicist
March 14, 1879 – April 18, 1955
ON A BEAM OF LIGHT: A STORY OF ALBERT EINSTEIN by Jennifer Berne
Chronicle Books, 2013
Up until the age of three, Albert Einstein barely spoke at all. But he thought and wondered about the world. He spent his entire life thinking, wondering, and figuring which fueled his curiosity and investigation into everything from space, atoms, numbers, and life.
There is an “official website and fan club” of Albert Einstein, with photos, quotes, and more.