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Albert Einstein was been voted as Person of the 20th Century. Find out all about him.

Einstein's timeline

Albert Einstein was regarded as a scientific genius by the age of 26. However he went on to accomplish many other amazing things in his life.

Remember to:

  • select suitable photos showing Einstein at different ages
  • write a brief comment by the photo saying what he did at that time
  • consider colour, layout, and design
  • check that your dates are correct.

Einstein's cinquin

Ed is a real biker, and any opportunity he gets he is on his bike and heads down to the bike track. But he never knew that Einstein rode a bike - here is a photo to prove it!

Below are two ways of showing you how to write a cinquin poem. Look at the picture of Einstein, use what you know about him, and write a cinquin poem about Einstein on his bike.

Cinq means five in French. A cinquin poem has five lines.

Line 1 a one word title
Line 2 a two word phrase that describes your title or you can just use two words
Line 3 a three word phrase that describes an action relating to your title or just actions words
Line 4 a four word phrase that describes a feeling relating to your topic or just feeling words
Line 5 one word that refers back to your title

Or write a cinquin using syllables.

Line 1 two syllables
Line 2 four syllables
Line 3 six syllables
Line 4 eight syllables
Line 5 two syllables

Let's quote Einstein

Einstein is well remembered for his quotes. Some of his quotes are very simple but they sure make you think! It was Einstein's way of explaining things that we usually take for granted.

  • Open this word doc of Einstein's quotes 

    Word icon. Einstein's quotes (Word, 24 KB)

  • Select one of Einstein's well-known quotes.
  • Draw a picture by using Paint, Kidpix, etc to show your understanding of an Einstein quote.
  • Copy the picture into the frame provided.

Einstein's theories

Ed has decided that to become the 'Person of the Century' you must have to do something absolutely outstanding. Ed is now on a mission to find out what Einstein did to achieve such fame, and he would like you to join him.

Whatever you read about Einstein tells you he really was a big thinker. Did you know that by the age of 26 he had explained three theories that related to physics and the universe and they are still thought of as being very important today–100 years later!!!
These are the things that Ed needs to understand ...

What is a theory?

A theory starts as an explanation for how something works. For it to become a valid theory, it must be tested to see if it actually explains how it works. Einstein work was based on other scientists' discoveries.

Special relativity:

It is impossible to know whether or not you are moving unless you can look at another object.
For example: If you were in the middle of outer space far from any other objects how would you know whether or not you were moving?
So how can you tell when time is moving slowly? Are you aware that we all travel in time?

  • Open the American Museum of Natural History's website to understand that time is not the same for all of us.
  • The theory of special relativity states that the speed of light is always constant when it's travelling where there is nothing to get in its way, like an empty part of space where its usual speed is nearly 300,000km per second. This is when Einstein's well known formula E=mc² is used.
  • But here on Earth the speed of light can change. Go into Joe's Room and see for yourself.

General relativity:

This is based on Isaac Newton's theory of gravity. Einstein was a big thinker and looked at gravity a little further and took it into space! Large objects cause outer space to bend and the larger the object, the further space bends. For example: a bowling ball placed on a sheet of rubber would bend the rubber sheet much more than a marble would on a sheet of rubber.

Wow! You can see now why Einstein was considered a genius.

How well do you understand Einstein's theories of relativity?
Have a go at one of these activities to test your understanding of Einstein's theories.

  • Write in the circles

    Word icon. Einstein's theories (Word, 71 KB)

     things you have learned about Einstein's theories.
  • Make a PowerPoint explaining Einstein's theories.
  • Write a rap or jingle about Einstein's theories.

Extra for experts

Let's try and think like Einstein! Remember he was considered a genius and at the age of 16 (which isn't much older than Ed) he wanted to know how is it possible that light always travels at the same speed, no matter how fast its source (perhaps a train) is moving.

  • Open the website Think Like Einstein and work through the three activities.
  • Can you explain how relativity works?

The Einstein flip

Science is everywhere and it can help explain why some things just happen, but have you ever seen science explain nursery rhymes!

  • Open this science website and scroll down to science nursery rhymes.
  • Open the PDF file and read through some of the well-known rhymes.
  • Find one that explains a part of physics.
  • Have a go and write your own.

Tumahi kāpehu

I te wā e tamariki ana a Einstein, ka mīharo katoa ki a ia ngā kāpehu. Ka whakamātau ia he aha rawa ai i tohu te ngira o te kāpehu ki te taitokerau, ahakoa e ahu pēhea ana a ia.

  • Huakinatia te kāpehu mai i te paetukutuku o Te Ara, ka pānui i ngā tohu matua o runga i te kāpehu.
  • Huakinatia te pepa kāpehu 

    Word icon. Compass sheet (Word, 47 KB)

    , ka tā mai.
  • Ka whakamātau i a koe anō mā te tuhi i ngā tohu e waru i roto i ngā wāhi tika.
  • I pēhea nei koe?

Tangata o te Rautau

Nā Time Magazine te whakatau ko Einstein te tino Tangata o te Rautau i te tau 2000. Ko tā rātau hiahia ki te whakanui i ngā whakaaro me ngā ariā pūtaiao mīharo, nā te mea e pā tonu ana ēnei tu āhua ki ngā rā ō nāianei.

  • Arā noa ngā tangata o Aotearoa ka kīa he "Tangata o te Rautau".
  • Huakinatia mai te pepa Tangata o te Rautau 

    Word icon. Tangata o te rautau (Word, 130 KB)

  • Pānuihia ngā ingoa ka rārangi mai – ko 1 te tangata ka kaha te kīa he Tangata o te Rautau, tae noa ki te 6, arā, kāore pea e tohua.

Understanding compasses

Einstein was five years old when his father gave him a compass. He wondered why the compass needle always pointed to the north. Gravity and magnetism were Einstein's first introduction to physics.

Here are some fun activities for you to complete:

  • A compass is a tool that shows direction points North, East, South, and West. To remember the directions we can make up a saying such as:
    • Never Eat Slimy Worms
    • Never Eat Soggy Weetbix

      Make up your own N,E,S,W saying, write it out and remember to be creative with your font, colour, and size.

  • Open up the compass document 

    Word icon. Compass sheet (Word, 47 KB)

    , print it out, and write the directions in the correct order.
  • Have you ever noticed that the needle on the compass always points north?
  • Follow these simple instructions to make your own compass.


You will need a:

  • sewing needle
  • small piece of cork
  • magnet
  • small bowl of water.


  1. Run the magnet in the same direction over the needle about 12 times.
  2. Push the needle carefully through the centre of the cork.
  3. Float the cork in the water, so the needle lies flat just touching the water surface.
  4. Watch what happens to the needle that you have magnetised.

So why does the needle point to the nearest pole? How has the magnet affected the needle? Open this magnetism website and find out these answers. Then enjoy completing the magnetism quiz.

Fascinating physics

From a young age Einstein was interested in a certain type of science called physics. He spent his life thinking about the wonders of physics and it is said his ideas were far ahead of other scientists. So what was so interesting about physics that caught Einstein's attention?

Open this physics website. Read the information then answer these questions to gain a better understanding of physics.

  • What 'basic things' of physics are found throughout the universe?
  • List three places that you will usually find people working with physics.
  • What other areas of science can physics be used with?
  • Einstein is well known for his formula E=mc², what does the E, m, and the c stand for?
  • Why is it better to say the 'theories' of physics rather than the 'laws' of physics?
  • Name the 'laws' of physics from ancient times that is not believed today?

Eye on Einstein

Ed had no idea that physics and his friend Einstein were involved with his breakfast, copying a picture, and watching his favourite programme. Einstein's ability to think about some of the simplest things allowed other people to create new inventions such as scanners, microwaves, and CD players.

  • Open the American Museum of Natural History website and see the many of the other ideas that Einstein helped to create.
  • Now let's look even further. Open this page on the Famous scientists website and explore how Einstein and other scientists designed some amazing technological equipment that we use today.
  • Discover some fun things that you can try out on the Sciencelearn website.

Experiment time

A scientist's job is to think about solutions to everyday problems and then experiment with loads of different materials and ideas until they prove themselves right. Remember Einstein discovered that he couldn't just think about why the universe was not as it seemed he had to prove it.
So Ed and Wiki are going to try and be scientists.