Tuesday, September 8, 2015

In support of science: this fuels my teaching.

A satellite for all seasons : TIROS
 There was a time when weather was studied without satellites, then in April 1960 that changed. It matters that we know this. 

When we choose to elect politicians that do not want to fund science we go backwards in time. Would we want to be less able to know where a Hurricane will make landfall in 2034 than we do today because our weather satellites have aged out and we did not fund new technology using what science has taught us?

There is beauty and awe in understanding science that fills me deeply, and thus I am saddened when it is treated with disdain. Science needs to be judged but not dismissed. Maybe I am more sensitive. The more we care; the more we take offense. To be able to view a tree and respect its beauty poetically, theologically, artiscally, and philosophically is important, but so it is to understand a tree and be amazed by the beauty of how it functions to survive. In fact, the tree is better likely to be treated with care if we view it in as many ways as possible. I dig trees.

The trees that have survived centuries could tell us how scientific breakthroughs do not happen in a vacuum.  Copernicus, Galileo, Darwin, Curie, Einstein did not just turn science about, but led to changes in world views. If we do not embrace science, we just may be lost in the intellectual view of our time.

So I have a job to do. My students deserve to leave my room with the basic vocab, facts, and concepts of science; while also knowing that it isn't science if it cannot be proven true and also if it cannot be proven false. They deserve to hear fascinating stories about scientists and their process, while also learning how to read graphs and data. And they need to do some science while their at it.

They need to be literate enough to face a news feed filled with articles about GMO's, Climate Change, Energy Policy... and understand the article to make their own informed opinion.

There is not enough time.

But science matters. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Wayne, I've been out of touch! I appreciated this post. My husband teaches 8th grade Science. Today's subject is the scientific method. Science matters.


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