Experiences with Science Classes and The Importance of Pink and Blue

16 09 2008

I am currently taking a Science Teaching course aimed at teaching science in an engaging way without any money, and also looking at all the reasons why it isn’t taught like that in the first place. Today our class shared stories about some of our own experiences with science while growing up. I am going to share with you all one such story (about Math, actually) which made me particularly angry, but I would welcome other people’s opinions!

In second grade a girl was beginning the math portion of her day. Her teacher passed out books, one accelerated math book and one lower level math book. I am not sure of the methods the teacher used to evaluate the class – but the now-young-lady recalls vividly being upset because she recieved a blue accelerated math book while the lower level math book was her favorite color – pink.

It was the same company, and the covers were distinctly blue and pink. Someone, somewhere along the line had to have made that choice. Discuss!

(Also – I would love to hear people’s experience with science classes throughout elementary school, middle school, high school or even higher education. What engaged you? What really turned you off? What was boring? What was fun? What did you really like learning about and why?)

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One response

29 11 2008
Tara Chklovski

Hi,
just wanted to share my experiences as a woman in engineering and now in science education. I grew up in india and was always into tinkering with things and building things (thanks to my dad) and so I became an engineer. I came to the states and found that there aren’t many girls in engineering and nor are there many African-American or Hispanic engineers and so I decided to do something about it. I started a non-profit, Iridescent, that trains engineers to go out and inspire children to pursue this career. everything is real-world, hands-on, very relevant and very exciting, designed to spark curiosity.
I think meaningful, hands-on experiences (scaffolded by analysis and reflection) are a strong way to teach science (at any age).

We have a bunch of crazy lessons that focus on bringing cool, cutting-edge research to the public. Some of the topics are Cardiovascular mechanics, sports science, structural color, biomechanics, bird flight aerodynamics, Physics of MRI etc. They are all open source and freely available to all at: http://iridescentlearning.org/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=16&Itemid=30

As we are a non-profit with a mission to inspire children to become scientists and engineers, it would be awesome if you could spread the word within your network. We would love to answer any questions and provide all the support you need to implement any or all of the hands-on lessons.

Thanks!

Tara

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