Scientists Take To The Classroom To Inspire Youngsters

Distressed at the prevalence of science illiteracy among young people in the United States, some scientists are bringing their skills to where they can perhaps help the most - the classroom. All over the country, individual scientist-parents are leading grade-schoolers on walks in the woods or fossil digs, chemists are conducting "road shows" in junior high school auditoriums, and high school groups are touring national labs. As more and more scientists bring their work to the young, the media

Ricki Lewis
May 27, 1990

Distressed at the prevalence of science illiteracy among young people in the United States, some scientists are bringing their skills to where they can perhaps help the most - the classroom. All over the country, individual scientist-parents are leading grade-schoolers on walks in the woods or fossil digs, chemists are conducting "road shows" in junior high school auditoriums, and high school groups are touring national labs.

As more and more scientists bring their work to the young, the media image of the scientist as an eccentric, bespectacled nerd is fading fast. The word is out - science isn't fearful, but fun! Following is a sampling of innovative programs.

Back in 1985, the idea of teaching schoolchildren to manipulate DNA seemed a bit far-fetched. Weren't frogs, rocks, and litmus paper enough for precollege science classrooms? David Micklos, of the public affairs department at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Long Island, N.Y.,...

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