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Forum Keynote Address

Schulz, Barbara [1].

Is it cool to know and do science? Can we create a Scientific Temper? Linking Scientists, College Faculty, K-12 Teachers and their Students in Collaborative Research.

In today’s increasingly complex society there is a strong need for the general public to have an understanding of and trust in the nature of science. In addition there is a very real need to have our young people select science and mathematics careers to fill the many jobs that will keep this nation moving forward scientifically and economically. I will build a case for why we need to entice many more students into career pathways that lead to work in fields using science, mathematics and technology. We need to give students a chance to experience science from the perspective of scientists. Dr. Bruce Alberts, in his address to the National Academy of Science Members meeting recently said “Science is a great, noble adventure – an unending frontier in the long struggle of human beings to understand the world that surrounds us.” Our challenge is to give students a chance to feel the adventure and experience the chase for knowledge. Science, mathematics and technology teachers in the K-12 system are under pressure to teach inquiry, meet the goals of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, and make annual progress in achievement and learning in their students. Many of these teachers have not had a mentored-research experience in their training or even met a practicing scientist and yet are expected to teach scientific inquiry. These teachers will be pleased to learn about the BSA Sci-π web-based program. Scientists, who are frequently required to address educational outreach as part of their grant applications, will also benefit from the BSA Sci-π project. With little knowledge of education outside of their own experience in attending school in the K-12 system, scientists find it difficult to develop a meaningful outreach program. Clearly, these two populations stand to benefit from collaborative efforts. I will address the professional cultures of these populations by looking at similarities, differences and bridges that need to be built to facilitate collaboration. The educational system in the United States has been under attack for years, and many brilliant minds have worked hard to influence change; however, the process is painfully slow. The BSA Sci-π project offers an opportunity to meet the needs of scientists and teachers, but most of all it promises to excite students as they experience real science through this inquiry and web-based mentorship program. To watch this pilot unfold, log on to www.botany.org/scientific_inquiry/ where students work on their experiments, scientists mentor by offering comments and teachers facilitate in this student-centered program. This program will help create a culture among students, and eventually the general public, that says “it is necessary and good to understand and be excited by science.”


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Related Links:
BSA Sci-π project


1 - The National Academies, The Teacher Advisory Council, 500 Fifth Street NW, Washington, DC, 20001, USA

Keywords:
Scientific Temper
scientific inquiry
collaborative research.

Presentation Type: Special Presentation
Session: F Keynote-1
Location: 400/Hilton
Date: Saturday, August 13th, 2005
Time: 4:15 PM
Abstract ID:530


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