University Briefs

Sharing Science "Kids are natural scientists," says Yale biology senior Geoffrey Laff. "We're trying to capture them at a point when they think that learning is still a cool thing to do." Laff is founder of DEMOS, a volunteer student group that shares the magic and excitement of science with third, fourth, and fifth graders in New Haven, Conn., elementary schools. Every week, the 35 members of DEMOS (the acronym doesn't really stand for anything: "I like to let people use their imaginations," s

The Scientist Staff
Apr 15, 1990

Sharing Science
"Kids are natural scientists," says Yale biology senior Geoffrey Laff. "We're trying to capture them at a point when they think that learning is still a cool thing to do." Laff is founder of DEMOS, a volunteer student group that shares the magic and excitement of science with third, fourth, and fifth graders in New Haven, Conn., elementary schools. Every week, the 35 members of DEMOS (the acronym doesn't really stand for anything: "I like to let people use their imaginations," says Laff), give two or three one-hour lectures and demonstrations to kids that emphasize, says Laff, "that the heart of science is asking questions and then answering them" - not memorizing tedious facts and formulas. Most of the kids Laff and his colleagues teach are minority students, whom, he says, "people don't have faith in." Teaching these kids leaves him with a "bittersweet feeling." Says Laff, who...

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