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How to revamp science education

I have the answers! All of ’em, right here, in one post!

Wow, wouldn’t that be awesome if that were possible, but unfortunately that is not the way the world works. *sigh*

BUT, with the end of the school year wrapping up, there seems to be a lot of talk about how to make science education more exciting and engaging for the youngens. And there seems to be an underlying theme among all the people I’ve been reading, watching, and listening to. Can you guess what that is? Ok, not art, but interaction! And for many of the science education experts, that DOES include a healthy does of art, literature, and other creative forms of media.


Jo Handelson is a microbiologist at University of Wisconsin-Madison. As featured in Seed Magazine, she is a vocal advocate for revamping the way science is taught. Scientists don’t use tools from 30 years ago to do research. They’ve built on discoveries to improve their techniques. But teaching suffers from neglect, she astutely points out. “Science is really about discovery and inquiry and the excitement of finding out how the world works,” and she feels it should be taught that way, in a hands-on style.

Another strong advocate for science education revitalization is Norman Augustine. Former president of Lockheed Martin, Augustine believes that engineering education in particular needs to be seriously revamped. The link provided has a video interview of him and a plenary talk he presented at SPIE’s Defense, Sensing and Security symposium, as well as a transcript of the talk. I LOVE the part where he points out that the curriculum for engineers at MIT at the turn of the last century was much more diverse and robust, and says engineers need a good dose of humanities. Here, here!

Blogger Miss Baker, a high school biology teacher, actually went to the source and interviewed some of her students about how they believed scientists could better engage students. In one form or another, most of the kids said they wanted more hands-on experiences or information delivered to them in a different way, particularly multi-media.



Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.