Historical Scientist Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin

This biography text for year 5 and P6, linking to the topics Earth and Space and Space, explains how Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin changed our understanding of the Sun. Cecilia thought maths was magical - especially algebra. In the early 1900s, girls didn’t receive the same education as boys, but Cecilia demanded to be taught science and maths. She went on to study science at the University of Cambridge. There she decided to become an astronomer. In 1925, Cecilia’s maths had led her to an exciting discovery - the main elements in stars, including our Sun, were hydrogen and helium. Up until then, everyone had assumed that the Sun was made up of a mix of materials similar to Earth.

The downloadable reading pack includes:

  • An A3 reading spread for you to print.
  • Reading comprehension question sheets, differentiated using our magnifying glasses key (on the bottom right). One magnifying glass indicates easier and two means harder.
  • Answer sheets
Year 5
Earth and space
Historical Scientist Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin

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