Science is everywhere.
Sometimes it’s beautiful, sometimes it amazes, and at times, it’s just plain weird. My six-year old son continually tells me, “Don’t interrupt me, I’m a man of science.” Science captivates children from the youngest ages. The more odd and off-beat, the more interesting.
These days, schools are looking to emphasize all types of science education, with STEM programs, integrated technology, makerspaces, and good old fashioned lab experiments. I am high-school history teacher. My students joke that my class is about dead people. You might think that means I don’t care much about science–that’s not true. Science is infused in every walk of life, and I have always had a great interest in the subject. There isn’t a class I teach that can’t have science involved.
This year, I’m going to include a healthy helping of science as I delve into teaching a science fiction course designed to connect the genre to real world. One look at the Star Trek communicator and you have my first Motorola hand-held cell phone. Science fiction is some of the craziest science out there–science that has changed our world, often in very strange ways.
Science fiction has often driven technology, design, architecture, and innovation. I’ll be teaching some weird science in that course. I will also be teaching several sections of current events, which might seem to exclude the odd and bizarre, but nothing could be farther from the truth.
Truth is often stranger than fiction, and in the case of current events, there are so many science topics on the forefront of policy and society that at times it might seem that it is a script for a sci-fi movie. Everything from global warming, natural disaster, cloning, GMO, fracking debates, invasive species, medical ethics, and geopolitical issues–science is everywhere in news, politics, and world events. A lot of it is exciting if you stop a moment for consideration.
This week’s Learnist feature is about science–especially weird science, which will attract the young and old alike.
The Discovery Channel has great science material. This board could serve as an introduction to connect science to the humanities and our day-to-day existence. Can science answer it all? What about the difficult intersection of science and religion? Creation? The notion of the miracle? This board links to Discovery material that attempts to find out.
I’d use this board in a few classes. It really hits to the heart of the advances in neonatal medicine. Students will love these stories, but there are non-science questions here, too. How much care does a human get? Is there a limit where the expense and medical resources could be detracting from the care of others? Are there questions to be posed about equity of care–do people without insurance receive such care? Are there certain geographic locations or groups of the population that get better care? These are advanced policy, math, statistics, and government questions I’d pose to use this news-science board in my field.
What little kid doesn’t like animals? Animal Planet gets your attention with this show. Use clips and information from this board for all ages, because some of the animals and facts on this show are truly captivating science.
This is a great question for upper elementary through high school. From the the original War of the Worlds to blockbuster remake, this has been a question that’s not so unrealistic. From NASA to film history, aliens are a great jumping off point to questions such as space exploration, whether we have the rights to the universe, taking care of the planet, and science fiction. This is another great Discovery Science Channel feature.
6.8 miles beneath the ocean’s surface, the Marina Trench is home to some of the weirdest marine life in the world. This board is great for showing the marine life, but also in discussing adaptations–how biology adapts to surroundings, and how people adapt in other arenas as well. There are direct lessons, but also lessons that allow you to use this as a hook to introduce other things.
5 Science Resources For, Well, Science Teachers