For two decades, I taught chemistry and physics to high school students. My goal was to have students learn how to learn. To quote Sir Alec Clegg: "The object of teaching is not so much to convey knowledge as it is to excite a determination in the child to acquire it for himself, and to teach him how to go about acquiring it."

Even so, it became very evident that a majority of students entered high school with a negative attitude toward science. They might be willing to do the assigned work and, due to an exerted effort on my part, many even enjoyed being in my classroom. However, it was rare that their interest in science was rekindled. I came to realize that the problem existed in elementary education. This had a direct influence on me and how I directed my effort.1

Young children are inquisitive--curious about the...

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