The Making of a Scientist | Question and Answer |
NCERT | Class 10 | English | Footprints without Feet
Read and Find Out
Question 1 How did a book become a turning point in Richard Ebright’s life?
Answer Richard Ebright’s had a great interest in collecting butterflies. He also collected rocks , fossils and coins. By the time he was in grade two , he had collected all the twenty five species of butterflies. This would have the end of his butterfly collection until his mother got him a book ‘The Travels of Monarch X’. This book told him about the migration of monarch butterflies of Central America. It opened the world of science for Richard. After reading it he became interested in tracking the migration of butterflies. He began to raise monarch butterflies in the basement of his home, and study them in different stages of their development.
Question 2 How did his mother help him?
Answer Richard’s mother proved to be a great help. She took him on trips , bought him scientific equipments and helped him in many other ways. If Richard did not have anything to do , she found things for him to do and learn. She presented him the book ‘The Travels of Monarch X’. which changed Richard’s life forever. Her mother played a very important role in making him as a scientist.
Question 3 What lesson does Ebright learn when he does not win anything at a science fair?
Answer Ebright exhibited slides of frog tissues at a science fair and did not won any prize. He realizes that mere display of something does not mean science. To win at science fair he had to do real experiments. From that day onwards he began conducting experiments.
Question 4 What experiments and projects does he then undertake?
Answer He undertook a project to test the theory that viceroy butterflies to show that they copied monarch butterflies. He performed experiments to find out what causes the viral diseases that kills nearly all monarch caterpillar every few years. He studied bright spots on the monarch pupa and discovered a new hormone. Also, he found out how cells read their DNA.
Question 5 What are the qualities that go into the making of a scientist?
Answer The author mention three qualities that go into the making of a scientist are a first rate mind , curiosity and the will to win for the right reasons.
Think About it
Question 1 How can one become a scientist, an economist, a historian… ? Does it simply involve reading many books on the subject? Does it involve observing, thinking and doing experiments?
Answer By simple reading we just cannot get the reason behind a particular result, it just give us facts. Science involves facts , experiments, analysis , hypothesis and conclusion. One must develop the skill of observation and thinking. One needs to have curiosity to explore and find new things. Above all, one must work hard and not get upset by failures. If we go deep in subjects like Economics or history , we find that economics is a science of human behaviour, historical building or paradoxes.
Question 2 You must have read about cells and DNA in your science books. Discuss Richard Ebright’s work in the light of what you have studied. If you get an opportunity to work like Richard Ebright on projects and experiments, which field would you like to work on and why?
Answer After a number of experiments , scientists have established that genes are the segments of DNA. It carry the blue print of life and heredity. They pass information from one generation to the other. Richard Ebright’s work was directly related to this.He raised flock of butterflies and raised the eggs of female Monarch. He studied the various stages of female Monarch and the cause of viral diseases that killed all Monarch caterpillars. All these studies on insect’s hormone give him a new theory on life of cell. They found the hormone behind butterfly’s full development. From all his experiments , he concluded that cells grew from a Monarch’s wings, the cell would divide and grow into a normal butterfly. If I get an opportunity to work like Richard Ebright, I would choose to study about diseases. By studying the DNA, I may find ways and means to cure many illnesses.
Talk about it
Question 1 Children everywhere wonder about the world around them. The questions they ask are the beginning of scientific inquiry. Given below are some questions that children in India have asked Professor Yash Pal and Dr Rahul Pal as reported in their book, Discovered Questions (NCERT, 2006).
(i) What is DNA fingerprinting? What are its uses?
(ii) How do honeybees identify their own honeycombs?
(iii) Why does rain fall in drops?
Can you answer these questions? You will find Prof. Yash Pal’s and Dr. Rahul’s answers (as given in Discovered Questions) on Page 75.
Answer (1) DNA fingerprinting is a forensic technique used to identify individuals by the characteristics of their DNA. It is used in parentage testing. It is also used in criminal investigation to identify a person or to place him at the scene of crime. Even from a single hair or a nail or drop of blood DNA can help us to find out the true culprit.
(2) Honeybees have signalling chemicals. They leave trails for fellow honeybees so that they can reach their honeycomb. They have a well developed direction finding mechanism and a way of reckoning distance.
(3) Rain is formed as a result of condensation of vapour when air is cooled below the dew point. The raindrops start out as tiny water droplets and on the way they collect moisture. The tiny drops changes into bigger water droplets and fall on ground as drops.
Question 2 How do honeybees identify their own honeycombs? (iii) Why does rain fall in drops? Can you answer these questions? You will find Professor Yash Pal’s and Dr Rahul Pal’s answers (as given in Discovered Questions) on page 75. 2. You also must have wondered about certain things around you. Share these questions with your class, and try and answer them.
Answer Some of the questions are :
(1) Why do rain bearing clouds appear black ?
(2) Why do some people snore during night?
(3) How rainbow is formed after rain?
(4) Why do fruits fall on Earth?