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Class 10 English Footprints Without Feet Chapter 6. The Making of a Scientist

Chapter 6. The Making of a Scientist

The Making of a scientist Summary

The chapter, ‘The Making of a Scientist’ is a story about the famous scientist Richard Ebright. Richie as his mother used to call him was a very curious child right from his childhood. He had started collecting butterflies in his childhood and when he was 2 years old, he had already collected all the 25 species found near his hometown. He thought it to be an end of butterfly collection until one day his mother bought him a book named ‘The Travels of Monarch X’. This was a turning point in his life and he got much more interested in dealing with science. He started with tagging butterflies which a task given at the end of the book that his mother bought for him. Then, when he first entered the county science fair with a slide of the frog tissue he lost. Everybody won something but his project did not win any prize. He was sad but also understood that to win, he needed to do real experiments and not just make neat and clean models. Then he wrote down to Dr. Urquhart at the University of Toronto, asking him for ideas to make projects. He stayed busy during his high school, working on the long list sent to him by Dr. Urquhart. Then, for the next year’s fair, he chose the project of looking at the viral disease that killed nearly all the monarch caterpillars every few years. He thought that the reason for this could be a beetle, so he started raising caterpillars in the presence of beetles but could not get any results. So, when he showed his trial experiment at the county science fair, his project won a prize. Then for the next year he made an experiment to show that the viceroy butterflies copied monarchs. This project also made him win prizes. Then he started his research as to the purpose of the 12 golden spots on the back of a monarch pupa. Everybody believed that it was just a design but Dr. Urquhart thought otherwise. Then Ebright and another brilliant science student got together and made a device that could show that the gold spots were responsible for releasing a hormone that was necessary for its growth. With the help of sophisticated instruments at one of the labs, he got a chance to work and found the chemical structure of the hormone in the gold spots. Then, one day, while looking at the photo of the chemical structure, he solved one of the biggest puzzles of life. He came to know how a cell blueprints its DNA. It was a big breakthrough and was published in a magazine. He also had many other interests and also admired his social studies teacher as he was the one who used to give him new ideas. He was good at debating, public speaking and a great canoeist. He never used to win for the sake of winning or for prizes but because he wanted to be the best at whatever he used to do. It is shown in this chapter that with the right amount of curiosity, a bright mind and the will to win for right reasons are the qualities needed to be a scientist. His mother also played a big role in making him what he was as it was she who supported him throughout his journey and bought him the book ‘The Travels of Monarch X’ which aroused his curiosity in the field of science.

Q1- Who is the writer of the story "The Making of a Scientist"?
A) HG Wells
B) Robert W. Peterson
C) Ruskin Bond
D) Guy De Maupassant

Q2- "It was his fascination for _____ that opened the world of science to him."
A) cats
B) dogs
C) birds
D) butterflies

Q3- At what age did he invent the theory on how cells work?
A) twenty
B) twenty one
C) twenty two
D) twenty four

Q4- What was he fond of in his childhood?
A) basketball
B) collecting things
C) baseball
D) none of the above

Q5- How did his mother help him?
A) took him on trips
B) bought him telescopes and microscopes
C) encouraged him to learn
D) all of the above

Q6- How many species of butterflies had he collected till second grade?
A) 20
B) 21
C) 24
D) 25

Q7- When did he get a hint of real science?
A) in the 7th grade
B) when he entered a county science fair
C) when he lost
D) all of the above

Q8- When did he find the cause of a viral disease common among caterpillars?
A) in the 7th grade
B) in the 8th grade
C) in college
D) none of the above

Q9- "_____is the blueprint for life"
A) cells
C) both of these
D) none of the above

Q10- What did he collect during his childhood?
A) coins
B) rocks
C) butterflies
D) all of the above

Q11- Where did he come from?
A) Reading
B) Oxford
C) London
D) none of the above

Q12- He tried to grow _____ in the presence of betties
A) butterflies
B) catterpillar
C) rats
D) snakes

Q13- What did he realise was necessary for winning a prize at the fair?
A) display
B) experiment
C) all of the above
D) none of the above

Q14- Which butterlies were not eaten by birds?
A) viceroy
B) monarch
C) all of the above
D) none of the above

Q15- Where did he graduate from?
A) Oxford
B) Yale
C) Harvard
D) none of the above

Q16- Who did he write to get an idea for a real science experiment?
A) his mother
B) his friend
C) Dr Frederick A. Urquhart
D) none of the above

Q17- Which book did his mother give him?
A) Travels of Monarch X
B) Travels of Viceroy X
C) Travels of Viceroy Y
D) Travels of Monarch X

Q18- He was an excellent _____
A) debator
B) scientist
C) photographer
D) all of the above

Q19- ____ is the blueprint of life
A) Oxygen
C) Cell
D) all of the above

Q20- What groundbreaking research did Ebright do?
A) working of body
B) working of DNA
C) Working of heart
D) none of the above

Q21- Where did Richard grew up?
A) Pennsylvania
B) Chicago
C) New York
D) London

Q22- In which class was Ebright when he lost at the county science fair?
A) 5
B) 8
C) 7
D) 4

Q23- Which butterfiles copied monarchs to prevent being eaten by birds?
A) vice president
B) viceroy
C) viceprincipal
D) vices

Q24- How many gold spots were there on a Monarch pupa?
A) 10
B) 15
C) 11
D) 12

Q25- What was the purpose of the gold spots on the monarch pupa?
A) ornamental
B) secreted hormones
C) they were the breathing points
D) none of these

Q26- Name Ebright's social science teacher.
A) Mr Weiherer
B) Dr Urquhart
C) James R Wong
D) Taplow

Q27- Where did Ebright study?
A) Oxford
B) Cambridge
C) Harvard
D) Stanford

Q28- What did Richard's dad do?
A) scientist
B) doctor
C) he was dead
D) teacher

Q29- What qualities did Richard possess?
A) inquisitive
B) intelligent
C) will to win
D) all of them

Q30- Name Richard's college room mate



1. How did a book become a turning point in Richard Ebright’s life?


Richard Ebright was interested in collecting butterflies. By the time he was in the second grade, he had collected all the twenty-five species of butterflies found around his home town. This would have been the end of his butterfly collecting. But at this point his mother got him a book called “The Travels of Moarch X’. This book told him about the migration of monarch butterflies to Central America. This book aroused his interest in Monarch butterflies and opened the world of science to him. This proved to be turning point in the life of young Richard Ebright. He began to raise Monarch butterflies in the basement of his home, and study them in different stage of their development.

2. How did his mother help him?


Richard Ebright’s mother helped him by encouraging his interest in learning. She took him on trips, bought him telescopes, microscopes, cameras, mounting materials and other equipments, and helped him in many other ways. If he did not have anything to do, she found things for him to learn. Even the book that became a turning point in his life was given to him by his mother. Hence, it can be said his mother played a crucial role in the making of the scientist.

3. What lesson does Ebright learn when he does not win anything at a science fair?


Edbright realizes that mere display of something does not mean science. To win at a science fair he will have to do real experiments.

4. What experiments and projects does he then undertake?


He make experiments to find out what causes the viral disease that kills nearly all monarch caterpillars.
He undertakes a project to test the theory that vicerory butterflies copy monarches to survive.

5. What are the qualities that go into the making of a scientist?


The author mentions three qualities that go into the making of a scientist—a first-rate mind, curiosity, and the will to win for the right reasons. Richard Ebright was a very intelligent student. He was also a champion debater, a public speaker, a good canoeist and an expert photographer. He always gave that extra effort. He was competitive, but for the right reasons. From the first he had a driving curiosity along with a bright mind; and it was this curiosity that ultimately led him to his theory about cell life.

6. 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?


Reading books is just one aspect of learning. This is an exercise in information gathering. It is how your brain processes the information that affects the degree of learning. The first and the foremost criteria to become a genius in one’s chosen field is to have great curiosity and unending hunger to discover more. Next criteria is a good sense of observation which helps you to correlate your findings with what you see or experience in the real world. Experiments are must to test your findings against possible variables and in real life situations. And last, but not the least criteria is an urge to work really hard on your area of interest.

7. 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?


Ebrights’ work are directly related to Biology. Discovery of cell’s structure has helped scientific community to understand the way any organism functions and grows. This has helped scientists to discover how disease causing organisms attack us and grow inside our body. This must have given them idea to counter a particular disease . DNA fingerprinting is helping police to pinpoint the real culprit. This was not possible when DNA was discovered. Monarch butterflies present an amazing example of a tiny creature migrating thousands of miles from North America to the rainforest of Amazon. Some day we can be in a position to develop as sturdy and reliable navigation system as that of the Monarch butterflies

Class 10 English Footprints Without Feet

  1. Chapter 1- A Triumph of Surgery
  2. Chapter 2- The Thief's Story
  3. Chapter 3- The Midnight Visitor
  4. Chapter 4- A Question of Trust
  5. Chapter 5- Footprints without Feet
  6. Chapter 6- The Making of a Scientist
  7. Chapter 7- The Necklace
  8. Chapter 8- The Hack Driver
  9. Chapter 9- Bholi
  10. Chapter 10- The Book That Saved the Earth

Class 10 English First Flight
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  5. NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 5-The Hundred Dresses - I
  6. NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 6- The Hundred Dresses - II
  7. NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 7- Glimpses of India
  8. NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 8- Mijbil the Otter
  9. NCERT Solutions for Class 10 English Chapter 9- Madam Rides the Bus
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