Monday, November 28, 2011

Teaching Your Kids Science

There was a very good piece this afternoon on CBC's afternoon program, On the Coast, about getting parents to encourage their kids to study science.  The guest gave some helpful resources, such as Let's Talk Science and I wholeheartedly agree with most of what they discussed - parents should encourage their kids even if they themselves struggled themselves with math or science, and shouldn't emphasize that to their kids, but rather encourage their children's natural curiousity and thirst for knowledge.

The only problem came towards of the interview when the host asked "What about science fiction, is reading that or watching Star Trek enough".  This happens at about 6:39 into the interview.  The guest talks about how this is great for encouraging boys.  What the heck?  Lots of girls (like me, growing up) love science fiction, volacanoes, and yes, even farting dogs (which the host gives as an example).  Worse yet, she goes on to talk about how we should make science relevant to our 'youth', and how websites like show lots of examples of cool 'guys' doing science.

These initiatives are generally great and yes, we need to do everything we can to ensure our population has a good grasp on scientific literacy.  But we need to make sure we are encouraging everyone, regardless of gender, and that means showing examples of all kinds of role models and making sure we don't discourage one group of people from pursuits they enjoy just because of their gender.

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