5 Minute Listening: The woman who changed science forever

  • Sam’s science homework for the next two weeks is to prepare a talk on a famous scientist to give to the rest of his class
  • He plans to speak about Marie Curie, one of the greatest scientists the world has ever seen
John Millen |

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1 What was Marie Curie’s dream when she was young?
a. to become a dancer
b. to go to a local university
c. to become a scientist
d. to work overseas

2 Where was she born?
a. France
b. Poland
c. Russia
d. Germany

3 If you are “determined” to do something, you …
a. will not allow anyone to stop you from doing it 
b. are not sure if you want to continue doing it
c. do it because someone asked you to do so 
d. ask someone to help you do it 

4 How did she earn enough money to go to university?
a. She worked in local laboratories.
b. She taught in schools.
c. She helped out in hospitals.
d. She did odd jobs. 

5 What is the Sorbonne?
a. a hospital 
b. a private secondary school 
c. a culinary school
d. a university

6 When did Marie get married? 
a. 1867
b. 1895
c. 1859
d. 1903

7 What was Pierre Curie’s job?
a. a science professor
b. a doctor
c. an inventor
d. a psychologist 

8 The Curies did experiments with …
a. a variety of heat and light
b. different sorts of genes
c. a particular type of chemical element
d. treatments for new diseases

9 What is a “by-product”?
a. a substance that easily dissolves in water
b. a substance that things can be made from
c. something that is no longer needed and thrown away
d. something that is produced during the process of making or destroying something else

10 What did the Curies want to do with uranium?
a. make it useful for people
b. get rid of it
c. cure diseases
d. combine it with something else 

11 Which word has the same meaning as “world famous”?
a. notorious 
b. questionable
c. acclaimed
d. regular 

12 The Curies were awarded a Nobel Prize for …
a. medicine
b. science
c. literature
d. physiology 

13 How many Nobel Prizes did Marie receive in total? 
a. none
b. one
c. two
d. three

14 Listen again to the end of the audio. What does the “tragedy” refer to?
a. Marie Curie’s illness
b. Pierre Curie’s death
c. health dangers of uranium
d. none of the above

15 What caused Marie to have blood cancer? 
a. being exposed to radiation
b. due to other health issues
c. as a result of inhaling poisonous gases 
d. all of the above

The voices on the clip are ... 


1. C
2. B
3. A
4. B
5. D
6. B
7. A
8. C
9. D
10. A
11. C
12. B
13. D
14. B
15. A

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