As Kim Gerson (of the science writing blog Endless Forms Most Beautiful) writes, kids today are exposed to science as a set of skills to practice: bland textbook readings and carefully-scripted labs, neither of which impart the real process – and indeed, the adventure – of science:
“What if gym was all drills and no games? What if music class was nothing but theory and practicing scales? Well, labs are the scales of science. And six years in primary school and six more in middle and high school, all of it practicing scales, is just too damned long. If we want students to stay interested in science, we have to engage them early on in the process of doing science.”
But how to do this? The solutions are many and diverse, from collection and analysis projects to partnering with museums to allowing kids to tackle the big science questions and provide business and government with their own innovations. Kim provides a fascinating list of links sure to provide science teachers with starting points to engage their students.