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Q & A: Is science cool?

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Most recent answer: 11/04/2008
Q:
How can I get my friend interested in science? I've tried everything. I told her how science is the answer for a lot of things. Science is one of the most important subjects in school. I've even told her science was cool. She just looked at me like I was going mad! (I'm not the kind of person who follows what's "cool" and what's not.)
- Krislyn (age 12)
Portervliie, CA, USA
A:
Krislyn- you've noticed an old problem for science teachers. Some kids love to find out about the world through science and others don't. Most of us teachers are not good at interesting the ones who don't.

The best example I've seen of somebody getting students interested who weren't interested before is my wife's teaching of statistics. She uses lots of survey questions about the students themselves, including personal questions most statistics teachers would be too shy to ask. They get very interested in understanding scientific ways of describing these data. Medical questions are one favorite. So maybe kids who aren't interested in other parts of the natural world could get interested in scientific questions about their own health, etc.

Good luck, and please let us know if you find anything that works. Maybe you'll become one of those rare successful science teachers.

Mike W.

(published on 11/04/2008)

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