Each year on December 10 (the anniversary of the death of Alfred Nobel) the Nobel Prize is handed out in six categories: physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, economics and peace. The awards are given to those who have made the most important discoveries or inventions in their field, and is considered to be one of most prestigious in the world.
Alfred Bernhard Nobel was born October 21, 1833, in Stockholm, Sweden, the fourth son of Immanuel and Caroline Nobel. His invention of dynamite in 1867 established his fame worldwide, and he built more than ninety factories that manufactured explosives and ammunition. In his will of 1895, Nobel created a fund for the awarding of five annual prizes "to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind." In 1969, a sixth award in economics was added.
"The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think. The prizes are intended to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative -- and spur people's interest in science, medicine, and technology." Even though the Ig Nobel Prize is not related to the Nobel Prize, I included it here because their website is fun to browse and it provides a glimpse into the real world of science. Some of the research done by this year's winners includes why woodpeckers don't get headaches, and why dry spaghetti often breaks into more than two pieces when bent.
If you are doing a report on a Nobel Laureate, the Nobel Prize Internet Archive is a terrific resource. In addition to an archive of winners sorted by year and subject, each winner's bio page includes a list of related links. "If you have an interesting and useful Internet link about a particular Nobel Laureate, you can add your link instantly to that Laureate's home page here at the Archive. We encourage you to add links as often as you like. The educational value of this Archive depends on contributions and resourcefulness its users."
The official Nobel Prize site is my pick of the day because it is not at all stuffy or pretentious, and really makes the work of the winners come alive. My favorite section is Educational Games, which houses dozens of fun, interactive activities based on the work of Prize winners. Other site highlights are Nobel Laureates Facts (only thirty-three women have won the coveted award) and Internet TV with interviews and lectures by the Laureates.