The Life and Times of Percy Julian

Activities and Readings

Becoming a Scientist

1. Developing an Early Love for Science: 1899–1916

1A. The Segregated South: From Slavery to Jim Crow (Reading)

1B. A Day in the Life of Percy Julian: The Early Years (Reading)

1C. The Trailblazers (Reading)

Meanwhile, in the Rest of the World... (Reading)

 

2. Julian’s College Experiences: 1916–1926

2A. A Day in the Life of Percy Julian: His Years at DePauw (Reading)

2B. What Is Organic Chemistry? (Reading)

Meanwhile, in the Rest of the World... (Reading)

 

3. Julian’s Struggle to Find a Place as a Chemist: 1926–1929

3A. A Day in the Life of Julian the Teacher (Reading)

3B. Repeating Experiments (Lab Activity)

3C. What Is Synthesis? (Reading and Interactive)

Meanwhile, in the Rest of the World... (Reading)

 

4. Vienna: 1929–1931

4A. A Day in the Life of Percy Julian: Vienna (Reading)

Meanwhile, in the Rest of the World... (Reading)

 

Doing Science

5. Julian’s Big Breakthrough: 1932–1935

5A. Synthetic vs. Natural: What’s the Difference? (Reading)

5B. Chemical Reactions and How You Know When You’ve Made Something New (Lab Activity)

5C. Melting Point Simulation (Interactive)

Meanwhile, in the Rest of the World... (Reading)

 

6. Continuing Career Struggles: 1935–1936

6A. Making and Sizing Paper (Lab Activity)

Meanwhile, in the Rest of the World... (Reading)

 

7. Becoming an Industrial Chemist: 1936–1939

7A. Pure Substances, Mixtures, and Separations (Reading and Thought Experiments)

Meanwhile, in the Rest of the World... (Reading)

 

8. Steroids from Soybeans: 1940–1953

8A. The Many Faces of Steroids (Reading)

8B. A Day in the Life of Percy Julian: Working at Glidden (Reading)

Meanwhile, in the Rest of the World... (Reading)

 

9. Breaking Racial Barriers: 1946–1956

9A. Fighting Discrimination (Activity)

Meanwhile, in the Rest of the World... (Reading)

 

Giving Back to Science & Society

10. Julian the Entrepreneur: 1954–1961

10A. Changing the Starch in “Yams” to Sugar (Lab Activity)

10B. A Day in the Life of Julian the Entrepreneur (Reading)

Meanwhile, in the Rest of the World... (Reading)

 

11. Elder Statesman in the Civil Rights Era: 1962–1975

11A. What did Julian think of all those honors? Are you impressed? (Writing Activity)

Meanwhile in the Rest of the World... (Reading)

A PBS/NOVA Documentary on Percy Julian

Visit the NOVA web site to learn more and watch online.