Saturday, April 25, 2009

NEED HELP: Kids and Science

When I was a kid, our country was consumed with the Apollo missions, rockets, moon walks, and science in general. I felt a compulsion to be a part of America’s push for science so I engaged myself in model rocketry and electronics. It was exhilarating to see a rocket of my creation soar upward in a flash. And I felt a sense of accomplishment in adding a timed release camera as a payload in my rocket so it would take pictures as it reached the flight’s zenith, looking downward at me staring up to the sky.

It was a magical time for science that captured a nation’s attention. Fast forward over 30 years, and the climate couldn’t be more different. Our children no longer aim to be scientists. Children no longer look up to scientists as role models. And certainly most kids are not intent on becoming a scientist anymore. What happened?

I’ve been troubled by this de-evolution for years. I’m tired of polling my friend’s kids about math and science, only to hear them proudly declare “I’m not good in math,” even when it’s not true just to save face in front of their peers. And the risk of being viewed as a geek by admitting a love for math has never been greater for girls trying to stay afloat in the school popularity contest. This is one of the reasons why I started this blog. Something has to change to attract more kids to a life of science. Let’s all do our part. Anyone who knows or loves science should reach out to any kids they know and try to convince them that science is fun, science is cool, and science can save the world.

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