When the nation experienced the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln in 1865, the act was considered an outcome of the bitter Civil War. When the newly elected President Garfield was shot in 1881, the nation was in shock. How could such a terrible thing happen when the nation was at peace? Who would do such a thing? Among those deeply affected by the tragedy was Alexander Graham Bell. On hearing the news that the president had been shot, but that the bullet could not be located, Bell’s STEM brain went into action. How could he use what he knew to help design a device for finding the lead lodged deep in the lower back of the president? This is where we will start the workshop and hinge the balance of discussion, exploration, STEM content learning.
There are two versions of the story in the module below, the summarized narrative and the longer version that uses primary sources like newspapers, telegrams, and Bell’s notes to tell the story. Read the first story and then look through the detail provided in the second version.
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