The following information is taken directly from the school web page:
In this assignment you investigate a science “myth”, or perhaps to avoid pre-judging, a science “story”. You should research not only where the story originated, but why it persisted.
Start out with a brief (one paragraph) summary of the myth. Present it in the form people most commonly encounter, and be sure to reference where you are taking this account from. Are there variations of the story that are also current? Can you find any reputable sources (textbooks, popular science accounts) that repeat the story?
Then go back over the historical record to track down the earliest reference to this story. Who first reported it? Where and why? How quickly did it spread? Were there competing versions of the story? Can you think of any reasons why this particular story would serve some myth-building purpose?
Track the story through time as well as you can. Look for variations or people who present the story either as “true” or just a “story”. Always keep one eye on the social aspects of science. Why might the myth (or one version of the myth) prove particularly popular in a particular place or time?
Finally, a closing paragraph should bring together all your conclusions and summarize your findings about the story, why it spread and what (if anything) it tells you about the way science is communicated, or what society thinks about science
Don’t re-invent the wheel. You will probably be able to find historians of science who have already looked into these various stories. If you can take advantage of their work, do so. But always be sure to check their results and conclusions. If you find a particular historian or scientist has made a mistake, speculate as to why. Was it an innocent mistake or an attempt at myth-making?
The “stories” (choose one):
-Galileo dropped balls from the Leaning Tower of Pisa
-Isaac Newton was inspired to discover gravity by watching an apple fall
-Albert Einstein’s first wife helped him discover Relativity
-Darwin was inspired by finches to come up with the idea of natural selection
-J.J. Thomson discovered the electron
-James Watson stole research data from Rosalind Franklin, cheating her out of the Nobel Prize
-Gregor Mendel set out to prove the laws of inheritance.