Posted by: rachelanne229 | February 10, 2010

why kids should be BOMBARDED with science!

if you can do science, you can learn anything else.

when i have kids, i’m not gonna be that mom who makes her offspring spend their days playing with snail embryos and relentlessly quizzes them on current patterns in the world’s ocean (even tho they’ll love it…).  no, i’ll be a normal mom, just one who realizes that science makes the world go round and will encourage my kids to take every science class available.

we need scientists– more brilliant, problem-solving, forward-thinkers who have a flair for ingenuity.  call me selfish, but i will feel safer with more scientists in this world.  these are the people who understand how the world works, so naturally they are invaluable.  i am not so naive as to disregard the need for other professions, however.  sure,  lawyers and politicians and social workers have their place, but if you have the hootzpah (you love that word, too) to study medicine or laser beams or biofuels, you will certainly be able to learn politics.  or at least you’ll have the knowledge and DATA you need to make well-crafted decisions.

i realize this is an elitist perspective.  i’m biased. but my views don’t change the fact that science classes give kids the opportunity to become informed, to explore curiosity, and most importantly, to think for themselves.  plus, science is fun.  the problem is, kids don’t know it’s fun.  thank goodness for bill nye and ms. frizzle– they were the ones who introduced me to the excitement of science when i wasn’t getting it out of school.  elementary school science sucked.  a) the class was called “Science.” b) experiments were a drag.  no one cares about a pencil that looks bent in a cup of water, dammit, and c) girls don’t do science.

but then you get to middle school and realize that there is more to “Science” than magma and properties of light and naming the (nine?) planets.  there is cool shit yet to be discovered and YOU can be the one to discover it!  there are workshops for girls in science and math, and you realize that it’s ok to aspire to become a marine biologist or a geneticist or a trace metal chemist.  women do it all the time.  it takes brains, it takes hard work, it takes good ideas.

the thing is, middle school is not soon enough.  we need to start earlier; we need to integrate science more fully into young kids’ lives.  it’s not just another subject to be thrown in with spelling and social studies and gym.  science encompasses all these courses–science,  in fact, is the main subject.  there are no two ways about it.  kids are already asking “why?”  “why is that guy bald?”  “why can’t she talk right?” “why are those dogs climbing on each other?” (my poor parents.)  so let’s give them the means to find out how to answer these questions and all the others that will inevitably spring up.

because, as socrates once said a couple years ago, “the unexamined life is not worth living.”  yes.

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