Louis Pasteur Lesson for Kids: Biography & Facts

Instructor: Jenny Homer

Jenny has masters' degrees in public health and public administration.

This lesson will introduce you about Louis Pasteur, one of the most well-known scientists. It describes his life and some of his discoveries, which continue to shape science and medicine today.

Who is Louis Pasteur?

Have you ever taken out a carton of orange juice or milk and seen the funny-looking word 'pasteurized?' The word is actually talking about a process invented by Louis Pasteur, a famous scientist. Pasteur's life also teaches us about the importance of not giving up and working hard.

Pasteur was born in 1822 in Dole, France. Surprisingly, Pasteur's schoolwork was not great, but he loved drawing pictures. Later on, he began to do very well in science, especially chemistry, and received a doctorate in sciences in 1847. Soon after, Pasteur got married. He became partially paralyzed when he was 45 years old, and his health was a problem for the rest of his life.

Pasteur taught at many universities and he received the highest award in France, the Legion of Honor, for his work. The Pasteur Institute in Paris opened in 1888. He died in 1895. If you search the internet, you'll find many schools, hospitals, and streets around the world named for him.

Statue of Louis Pasteur

Louis Pasteur's Early Work

Pasteur started out as a chemist and made some important discoveries about molecules, the smallest building blocks that make up everything.

Local alcohol producers came to Pasteur to ask for help with making beer and wine, which happens from a chemical change. Pasteur started to realize that tiny living things were causing this change, and he figured out how heating the wine and beer could kill the living things and keep the drink from going bad. This process is used today to make milk and juice safe to drink. This explains the word 'pasteurization' on the cartons!

Pasteur solved another major issue when disease started killing off the silkworms that make silk in France. Even though Pasteur had no experience with silkworms, he got to work trying to figure out the problem. He researched silkworms for five years and learned how to keep the healthy ones alive. Silk producers still use Pasteur's approach today.

Painting of Louis Pasteur at Work

Louis Pasteur and the Study of Disease

Pasteur began to understand that the chemical changes that happen in food and diseases are caused by microorganisms, living things that are so small that you need a microscope to see them. These include germs that can give you a cold.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account