Marie Curie was born with the name Maria Slodowska on the 7th of November, 1867, in Warsaw, Poland. Her parents were poor teachers and she was the youngest of five siblings. Her father, Władysław, was a maths and physics instructor.
In 1883, Maria received her high school diploma, achieving a gold medal for excellence in mathematics. Her sister Bronia was at medical school in Paris and to help to finance her studies Maria worked as a tutor and governess from the age of 16. Maria’s goal was to join Bronia in Paris to study at the Paris Sorbonne University. In order to pass the entrance exams, Maria took night courses to learn additional chemistry, maths and physics.