Marie Sklodowska – Curie’s Childhood Marie Sklodowska – Curie’s Childhood
Family Background: Marie Sklodowska was born in November 7, 1867 in a stately townhouse on Feta Street, Warsaw Poland into a family of teachers. Later she became known as the famous Marie Curie. In her childhood, she was known as "Manya". She was the youngest of five children. She was descended from lower aristocracy, known as Szlachta. Throughout her life, Marie prided herself on intellectual achievements rather than material possessions.
Maria Skłodowska's birthplace on Ulica Freta in Warsaw's New Town
Siblings: Her sister are: Sophie (Zosia), who died of typhus fever, Brosnilawa (Bronya) and Helena (Hela). Her only brother was Joseph (Jozio). Sophie (Zosia), Brosnilawa (Bronya), Manya (Marie), Joseph (Jozio) and Helena (Hela)
Father: Wladyslaw Sklodowski was a professor of physics and mathematics. He was a school principal and ran several schools including a boys’ reformatory during his career as a teacher. His children thought of him as a walking encyclopedia. He put his career on the line by encouraging children of peasant families to study and allowing them in the same classes with the children of the nobility.
Marya Sklodowski, behind her father, Wladyslaw, with her sisters Bronya and Helena (at right).
Mother: Bronislawa Sklodowski had an enormous influence on all of her children’s lives, and ran a school for girls, where Marie went to Warson’s Pension Sikorska, a private school for girls. Where she was the brightest student. Marie’s mother got the disease tuberculosis, a major infectious disease in the late nineteenth century, from Wladyslaw’s brother who came to live with them.
After several expensive rest and cures in the south of France, she died in 1878 from TB when Marie was only nine years old. Bronislawa Sklodowski, Marie Curie’s mother
Youth and Childhood: The Sklodowski family was very educated and cultured, but they struggled financially, as Poland was occupied by Russia and Germany. Following the death of her sister and mother, she lost faith in her Roman Catholic religion and become an agnostic. Even as a little girl, Marie was fascinated by her father's scientific instruments. She would watch them for hours, asking him what they were used for.
This early fascination for science stayed with her all her life. Like her siblings, Marie spoke fluent Polish, Russian, German and French as well as English. Marie Curie's High School Diploma
Schooling: Right from her childhood, Marie was an outstanding student and exhibited an exceptionally strong memory. At the same time, she was so much interested in study that at times, she used to forget to eat food or even have her sleep. She graduated from a Russian lyceum at the age of fifteen and came first in her class. She also received a gold medal on completion of her secondary education.
Marie was encouraged to study physical science by her cousin, Jozef Boguski,the director of the Warsaw Museum of Industry. He allowed her to do experiments in physics and chemistry on the weekends at the museum Marie lived in poverty all her life. Rather than defeat her, the hardships she endured strengthened her. She spent eight years working as a tutor and a governess to support her family and earn enough money to attend the Sorbonne in Paris. In her spare time, she studied mathematics and physics on her own.
Finally, in November, 1891, aged 24, Manya Sklodowski arrived in Paris to join her sister, and enrolled herself at the University of Paris as Marie Sklodowski. She studied mathematics, physics and chemistry and was the only woman at the Sorbonne. She got her undergraduate degree in 1893, coming first. She completed her Master's Degree in Mathematics, from University of Paris in 1895.
“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained”.... Marie Curie