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Giving back

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Kristin Lewotsky
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re: Giving back
Kristin Lewotsky   9/23/2011 5:46:48 PM
The irony is that their lives revolve around technology – computers, gaming, MP3 players, smart phones… They love playing with the gadgets but somehow we lack the charismatic element to keep them engaged in the science behind it all, at least in the US, anyway. I went to school in the UK for a year when I was in high school and the difference in attitude was amazing. In the US, it was unhip to get the "A" paper. In the UK, my classmates were invested in doing well and proud when it happened. The second irony here, of course, is that we live in a world in which increasingly economic survival requires education. How do we get kids to understand that? Regarding science, maybe the thing to do is concentrate on the fun factor during that transitional time, Maybe with science-fair type projects that involve local colleges so that they can include technologies like robotics. What do you think?

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re: Giving back
LiketoBike   9/22/2011 2:48:45 PM
There sure is a transition. I took a lot of geology as an EE (I like science :-) I used to go to local schools and talk to the kids about rocks back in the mid-eighties; my profs asked me to, and I loved it. I typically went to 4th grade classrooms. They ate it up! And they were very engaging and participatory...I really enjoyed it. I would get the thank-you notes; I still have them. Then one time I went to a 6th grade classroom. WHAT a difference! Just like you said; looking bored, staring out the windows, not participating, totally unengaged. I never really figured out what happened in that short time from 4th grade to 6th grade (I don't know if that is still where the transition happens these days). Sounds like it is still there...and needs addressing. I think peer pressure, media (TV, movies) and parental non-involvement are at the core, but I only have my impressions and anecdotal data. But for sure there is a negative step function in interest and enthusiasm there for a large number of children...

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