Do we need to help kids learn science in places other than the classroom? President Obama thinks so and World of Enrichment agrees!
At World of Enrichment we are proud to offer high quality programming that help children in our community transcend the bleak statistics that plague our youth today and prepare them to be tomorrow’s leaders. Our purpose is to empower parents with the tools necessary to be in control of their children’s future, no matter which direction our world is turning. We are extremely excited with the new addition of Science Classes with Miss Danielle – and a 3-week mini session starts next week!
Here is an exerpt from U.S. Science Education: Rethinking How Kids Learn in the Huffington Post 11/14/11 which paints the picture of where American students stand in comparison to the rest of the world and discusses the importance of out-of-classroom learning.
The U.S. is becoming increasingly concerned over learning among the country’s youth in areas of science and math. International testing has shown that American students fall behind foreign counterparts in a number of subjects.
Students in Shanghai who took international exams for the first time outscored every other school system in the world. In the same test, American students ranked 25th in math, 17th in science and 14th in reading. A 2009 study showed that U.S. students ranked 25th among 34 countries in math and science— behind states like China, Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong and Finland.
A report last month revealed that California is failing to provide high-quality science education to public elementary school students — just 10 percent of elementary classrooms provide regular hands-on science experiments, and fewer than half of surveyed school principals think their students would receive high-quality science instruction in their respective schools.
“I want us all to think about new and creative ways to engage young people in science and engineering, whether it’s science festivals, robotic competitions, fairs that encourage young people to create and build and invent, to be makers of things, not just consumers of things,” Obama said during his 2009 address at a meeting of the National Academy of Sciences.
But what role do informal ways of learning contribute to science education? On Talk of the Nation, NPR’s Ira Flatow asks, how important are museums, TV shows and after-school clubs to teaching kids science?
This is what an associate dean for research, College of Education, Sea Grant professor in free-choice learning, science & mathematics education, College of Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Ore. had to say:
“What these opportunities do for children and adults is they help them understand at a deeper level some of the things that they have learned in school or they may get them excited about something that then they want to pursue in more depth in school.”
“There’s definitely evidence in my work and the work of other people doing research on this area that these experiences can be exceedingly powerful.”
“One of the things we’re finding out is that the experiences that are provided in out-of-school settings can be extremely powerful and impactful for children and youth who are from underrepresented groups.”
“It’s a lot harder in the classroom environment to make it interesting and exciting, especially with situations like, you know, crowded classrooms, lack of supplies. And I think a lot of kids just never find out the interesting things about science if they don’t get a chance for those hands-on programs and, like, experiences that really engage them personally and make them feel like they’re discovering something.”
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