Where are your future knowledge workers? In elementary school right now.
I believe the person who cures cancer, solves the energy problem or invents the next insanely great thing is in elementary school right now. Over 90% of these bright young minds enter elementary school with a passion for science and an insatiable curiosity about their world. By the time they reach 7th grade, it is barely above 30%. That is a loss of 60% of America’s future innovators before they even reach high school. I think that is unacceptable so I’m willing to do something about it.
Teachers, Parents, Peers and Media
According to the TEA, 86% of elementary teachers are intimidated by teaching science. This is completely understandable. We demand that our teachers master a wide variety of subjects and subject them to rigid controls on what they teach and how they teach it. In 2009 we added science to their already overwhelming load. Teachers need help in the form of simple to implement lesson programs and training.
Many parents are simply not involved in their child’s education – either through ignorance or a fear that they don’t know the subject well enough to support their kids. The result is a lack of encouragement and support by well intentioned parents. I believe we can educate these parents and provide them with similar resources to reduce intimidation and teach them how to participate and support their kids natural enthusiasm for science.
Peer groups are particularly brutal when it comes to discouraging academic performance. But, this doesn’t mean they are just cruel idiots. They are the result of the above factors and are simply taking the path of least resistance. Kids need peer role models and inspired teachers to show them that science is an exciting, amazing and relevant adventure. Most kids want to change their world. We can show them that science is the path to make it happen.
Positive media choices for kids under 16 is becoming a rarity. There are many reasons for this, but the fact is, there are few programs that are designed for kids with a fun, educational direction featuring peers engaged in positive activity. Nickelodeon is chock full of senseless cartoons and teen age girls in tight pants (which I’m sure many kids enjoy…). Discovery Channel has a fair amount of science programing but it’s not designed for kids. Instead, we have cage fighting, Jackass, WipeOut, and a long list of programs that promote violence, sex and idiocy.
Join Clarity Marketing Support, Time Warner Cable, Whole Foods and High End Systems as we put the spot light on positive, exciting, hands-on science educational programs at the Future Scientists Jamboree January 22, 2012 in South West Austin. Limited tickets are available here: http://www.explorationnation.com/jamboree. All proceeds benefit the Austin Community Foundation.
Or contact me to find out how you can help. 512-663-7393