Saturday, October 31, 2009

Dead Scientists

In fifth grade you don't get to party on Halloween. But you can dress as a dead scientist. So we researched a Nobel Prize Winner who Robert listened to once during a lectur on Economic Geography.
Originally I said, hey let's do Bill Gates- he's a computer scientist, then I got the instructions and found out it had to be a dead scientist. So Robert suggested this amazing person who dies last month. Our world is a better place because of him.

Back in 1970, when he won the Nobel Prize, it was for actually doing something, not just talking about- oops this isn't a political blog, so back to David.
He came in as second runner up in the contest.

Here is his report

Norman Bourlag was born March 22 1914. He is credited with starting the green movement. His most important contribution to the world is his development of breeds of wheat and rice which allowed for higher yielding and more resilient crops. Because of his continued work in this field worldwide, he is credited with starting the Green Revolution and with saving more lives than anyone on that has ever lived.
He grew up working on a farm in Iowa. His early education was very primitive. The country school he attended had only one room and one teacher and was from first through eighth grade. In high school he excelled in football, baseball and wrestling. He wanted to attend the Iowa state Teachers college and worked as a farm hand earning fifty cents a day to earn money for his first year of college. The depression hit Iowa especially hard but because of it he was able to earn a grant to attend college in Minnesota. He majored in forestry, agricultural science and became an accomplished wrestler. After marrying his wife Margaret he earned in a PhD in Plant Pathology.
He graduated during World War 2 and began working for the Dupont Corporation doing research in Mexico. In Mexico, the farmers were having problems with crops and were unable to produce enough to feed their own country.. The problems included a rust fungus in the wheat and small crops. Also the farmers in Mexico were hesitant to change their ways of farming and listen to an American who did not even speak Spanish. His childhood experiences helped him to keep trying for 13 years before he and his team were successful in creating a disease resistant type of wheat that provided for a large crop. When he left his studies in Mexico the country was self sufficient in their wheat production.
He was asked to work his magic in South Asia. Because of his research and agricultural expertise he was able to teach them to increase their crops by 400 percent. In the previous century over 160 million in Asia had died from starvation. In 1968 he and his team created a miracle rice that would double the crop size had more nutrition than regular rice. His work in Bioengineering led him to be the Father of the Green Revolution.
He received the Nobel Prize in 1970 for his accomplishments in India and Pakistan and for his role as the Father of the Green Revolution. When the announcement came that he had been chosen, he was working in a remote field in Mexico. His wife had to drive hours to reach him and asked him to return home to answer the interviews and phone calls. He refused to leave because he still had lots of data to plot and research to be done. He is the only agricultural scientist, so far, to have received this prize. In the 4 decades since receiving the Nobel Prize he has worked harder than he did before the prize.
Borlaug continued to participate actively in teaching, research and activism. He would spend much of his time in Mexico and then would come to Texas A&M and teach one semester each year. This is how I heard about him, because as a student at Texas A&M my dad attended one of his lectures on economic geography.
Norman Bourlag died on September twelfth of this year. His children released a statement that says, “We would like his life to be a model for making a difference in the lives of others and to bring about efforts to end human suffering an misery for all mankind.”

I'm glad to know about this man. David's teacher was impressed because she had never heard of him and really enjoyed the presentation.

David was happy he got extra credit.

I also went and got him out of school at one so he could go to Alice's Party. Here are some pictures of him helping out the "little Kids"

At one point the teacher said, "who hasn't had a chance to ...."

and the kids around David were screaching.. "ME ME ME"
so David said," Listen very carefully, the following information will bring your very far in school and in life. Just raise your hand, don't say anything and the teacher will call on you."
He later told me little kids need these types of life lessons.

Little boys all wanted David to help them make their necklace. He taught them that they either needed or didn't need a pattern, it was up to them.

Helping the clean up of the mummy contest.

Holy Coupons Batman