The growing need for science education


The growing need for science education

R V Chokkalingam opines that we cannot overlook the significance of science in the world we live in today

We live in a society dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology. Science is not arcane, but intended only for the few.

When we consider the ubiquity of cell phones, iPods, personal computers and the Internet, it is easy to see how science is woven into the fabric of our day-to-day activities. By drastically changing our means of communication, the way we work, our housing, clothes and food, our methods of transportation, and, indeed, even the length and quality of life itself, science has generated changes in the moral values and basic philosophies of mankind. Science is the engine of prosperity.

Students often ask the question: ‘Why do we have to do science?’ Science is the basis for much of our life. We almost literally eat, sleep, and breathe science! The true value of high school science courses lies in learning something about the world around us.

Students learn all about the world we live in — how things work, how living things function, how and why things happen the way they do. They learn about how living things work, survive and connect to each other. Studying science helps them understand the world around them and its role in that world. They learn about the physical, chemical, biological and technological world.

Catch them young

Science can be fun and entertaining. Because much of science is hands-on, it appeals readily to most children. Nothing makes a child sit up and take notice like the ‘wow’ of a great science presentation. For young learners, science is just an extension of their everyday world. Students plan and conduct investigation to test out scientific ideas and explanations.

Science starts with observation, moves to a hypothesis and ends with a prediction or theory. Science is the process that takes us from confusion to understanding in a manner that is precise, predictive and reliable. Science can rev up a love for learning that will spill over into other subjects.

Science can spark in kid’s minds that they, too, can help solve the world’s big problems. Children are inquisitive explorers by nature and science offers lots to explore. If they learn the truth by learning science, they would not fall prey for all those scams, cons, and hoaxes.

Science is important for kids as it involves a lot of communication with other people. Science also develops patience and perseverance in kids. Students can use scientific knowledge and skills for problem solving and developing further knowledge. Also, they can make informed decisions related to their own lives  and cultures.

Science education enables students to develop the confidence, knowledge, and skills to find answers to their questions . They attempt to find solutions to problems arising from their own needs and experiences in daily life. A good understanding of science will help them make better choices on the use of energy, global warming, genetics, stem cells, research, and a host of societal and social problems.

Students can appreciate the achievements of scientists and their research. They can understand that scientific knowledge has been developed over time by scientists fro cultures all around the world. They can realise that the scientific understanding of the world is constantly changing due to continuing research and new technology.

They may value the scientific contributions and achievements of people from many different cultures. Scientists use the expertise to develop real solutions for real problems. Science has done away with many irrational fears.

Back end work

Scientific research also plays an important role in culture, politics, and society. Every technological and medical innovation in the world has its root in scientific papers. Science is what our society is built on and is very important to know for many reasons. With today’s rapid advances in science, it is important to become familiar with science vocabulary and scientific concepts. Science is an essential tool for a democracy in an age of change. Moreover its impact on society is ever growing.

Science education forms the basis for the full achievement of innovations. Understanding science helps us in so many different ways. It also opens doors to many disciplines. We use science principles, knowledge, and concepts in nearly everything we do throughout each day. It is simply not possible to escape the many advantages of being knowledgeable in science.

The faster science moves the faster the world moves. Being science literate will no longer be just an advantage but an absolute necessity. Science is about looking forward, about bettering ourselves. Our actions today in the area of science education will have a greater impact on growing next generation scientists.

Science enhances our economy, science empowers people, and science addresses tough problems. Science shapes how we think about the world we live in and how we think about ourselves. Without science, our modern world just would not be the same.

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