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USciences Response: We Need To Engage Children Sooner
Posted: Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Written By:  Jennifer O’Brien PMM’11
Contact:  Holly Dean
Contact Email:  H.Dean@usp.edu
Contact Phone:  215.596.8864

High school students today don’t appear to be getting all the facts they deserve about their future. A recent study conducted by Harris Interactive online for University of the Sciences recently reported that almost half of all high school students do not intend to undertake a career in science or healthcare related fields. 

When students become interested in pursuing a career idea, they typically speak with their guidance counselors or their parents, but what if their parents and counselors don’t have all the options?  

“I have found that guidance counselors in general tend to shy away from science intensive programs,” said USciences Provost Dr. Russell J. DiGate. “A lot of people, for whatever reason, feel they don’t have a particularly good understanding of science so they tend to pull away from anything that has that science base. Quite frankly, it’s something their parents may not have a clear understanding of either.”  

DiGate suggests that the best way to educate students is by reaching out to them sooner than high school. He believes that teachers should inspire children, as early as the fourth grade, with the excitement and curiosity that science entails. Cramming the facts and mundane ideas into their mind is one way, but what if teachers could make science more enjoyable? 

“It would be much better for the kids to perform or participate in  interesting and challenging experiments,” encourages DiGate. “I think children will understand that the real allure and beauty of science is that for every question you figure out, you generate five more questions. That is the kind of thing that we need to use to captivate the students’ interest at a young age.” 

One way the University is helping is through hosting the Summer Institute for Middle School Science Teachers on campus through July 29. The goal of the institute is to arm science teachers with new teaching techniques that can be brought back to the classroom and inspire their students.

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