Top 10 Marie Curie Facts for Kids

Marie Curie was a scientist who became famous for her work on radioactivity. Here are ten interesting Marie Curie facts for kids:

  1. Marie Curie is considered one of the most influential scientists of all time. She was the first woman to win a Nobel prize and the only person to win Nobel prizes in two different sciences: physics and chemistry. In addition, Marie Curie discovered radioactivity and changed how scientists understood the atom.
  2. She was born in Warsaw, Poland, on 7th November 1867. She was born Maria Salomea Sklodowska but adopted her French husband’s name, Curie, around the time she married him. She also became a French citizen when she married him. They were happily married until he died tragically in 1906 when he got run over by a horse-drawn carriage in Paris.
  3. Marie Curie’s parents were both teachers. They taught her to value knowledge and help others. She and her elder sister, Bronya, both wanted to live up to their parent’s expectations and succeeded. As a result, Marie Curie was incredibly determined and driven. Even as a young girl, she always asked questions and tried to figure out how things worked. This determination helped her achieve many scientific breakthroughs.
  4. She was the youngest of five children. The family lived in difficulty, and Marie Curie often went without meals. However, she did her best at school and was encouraged by her mother to study hard so she could one day become a teacher and help others in need.
  5. She named the element ‘polonium’ after Poland. There was a food shortage in her native Poland, and many people died from hunger. Marie Curie wanted to do something to help the situation in Poland and chose to name the element after her home country. It was an insult to Russia, which ruled Poland at the time.
  6. One of the most impressive Marie Curie facts for kids: During the First World War outbreak, Marie Curie created and transported over 200 x-ray machines into field hospitals. Albert Einstein once said of Curie, ‘She helped humanity excellently by her work.’
  7. Most of her work was carried out in a shed behind the school where her husband worked. She was so dedicated to her work that she refused to take time off, even when she was seriously ill; this led to her contracting radiation poisoning, eventually killing her.
  8. Marie Curie opened research centers in both Paris and Warsaw. These centers helped to train the next generation of scientists and continue her work on radioactivity; they also helped ensure that women could study science and become essential members of the scientific community.
  9. Marie Curie’s daughter Irene won the Nobel prize in chemistry in 1935 for her work synthesizing new radioactive elements; this made Marie Curie the first mother and daughter to win Nobel prizes. The two women remained close until Marie Curie died in 1934.
  10. Marie Curie died on 4th July 1934 in France. Her death certificate states that she died of ‘aplastic anemia, a blood disease; her long-term radiation exposure caused this. Many of her notebooks are still considered to be radioactive. Her notes from experiments are still slightly radioactive today. They must be stored in lead-lined boxes and handled carefully at the ‘Bibliothèque Nationale de France’ in Paris.
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