Before teaching, I spent five years doing chemistry work in the labeling industry. I always had a very mixed reaction when I would tell people what I did. People would make the immediate connection to their school science classes and then proceed to tell me that they either loved science or they hated it. After making the decision to teach science, this connection to school science obviously got much stronger. Those that loved it talk about the fun labs, the crazy things they learned, or the cool stuff they built. Those that hated it talked about hard teachers, confusing concepts, or just a general feeling of being lost.
I’ve actually only had one ‘meh’ as a reaction to my life in science, which was from a friend that is a mechanical engineer.
It’s so interesting to me that people have such a strong reaction to science, either good or bad. But even more interesting is the idea that science equals science class … not a connection to the entire world around us. I could go on and on about why I think this definition should change, and how I think that every single person I encounter is a scientist (though they may not know it).
Instead though, I’d rather show you.
This amazing TED talk by Beau Lotto and Amy O’Toole kicks off the school year in my science classroom. It solidifies the fact that the students are scientists, not just students in a science classroom. The title really says it all … Science is for everyone!