Timeline for Albert Einstein: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Bonnie Pluta

Bonnie has taught at the elementary and middle school level and has a master's degree in Child and Family Studies.

Read this lesson to learn about Albert Einstein and the important milestones in his life. Read about the famous scientist from his birth in Ulm, Germany, to his death in Princeton, New Jersey, and his contributions to science in between.

Who Is Albert Einstein?

Albert Einstein was a German scientists known for his theories about how the universe works. He was a physicist, a type of scientist who studies and tests theories on interactions of energy and matter throughout the universe. He is thought of as a famous genius today, but he wasn't well known until he was 40 years old!

Albert Einstein was a famous physicist.
Albert Einstein

Let's take a look at the timeline of Einstein's life for a glimpse into what made him a common household name.

Growing Up as Einstein

• 1879: Einstein is born on March 14 in Ulm, Germany.

• 1884: Have you ever received a special gift? This is the year Einstein's father gifts him a magnetic pocket compass while Young Albert is too sick to get out of bed. This gift makes quite an impression on Einstein!

• 1885: Einstein begins school and learns how to play the violin. He later proclaims that music gives him much joy.

• 1894: Einstein's family moves to Italy for his father's work, leaving Albert behind with relatives to finish school. He drops out of school before the year is over to join his family.

• 1895: Before finishing high school, Einstein applies to university--the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich--in an attempt to get away with not finishing high school. He's rejected and sent to Switzerland to finish his high school education.

• 1896: After graduating high school, Einstein is finally admitted to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, where he studies mathematics and physics. He graduates four years later.

Einstein: The Adult Years

• 1901: Einstein begins working at a patent office and gets his first scientific paper published. He also becomes a citizen of Switzerland--Einstein gave up German citizenship a few years prior to avoid being drafted into the German military.

• 1905: This is a very important year in Einstein's life, known as his annus mirabilis, which is Latin for 'miracle year.' Einstein publishes four very important papers in 1905, and they change the way scientists think about the space and time, energy and mass.

• 1906: Einstein earns his Ph.D. and officially becomes Dr. Albert Einstein. He will earn more doctoral degrees and work at various universities in his lifetime.

• 1914: Einstein becomes a German citizen again but also remains a Swiss citizen. This is called dual citizenship. He now lives in Berlin, Germany.

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