This blog posting from Stephanie Conlon’s blog made me think about how I came to love science.
Stephanie’s post talks about a study that shows future scientists are created early, before Junior High. The early grades are a time when students’ natural curiosity about the world either grows into a love of science or is squashed. I believe that lack of exciting science in their formal education, or lack of exposure to science outside of school, allows children’s instinctive love of the natural world to die a slow death by starvation. But if fed intriguing science, even in tiny bursts of fascination, I believe many more children would fall in love with the wonders of science and choose to pursue science and engineering careers.
The scientific study talks about just such an inspired story and one girl’s coming-to-science moment …
The study’s unusual title (“Eyeballs in the Fridge: Sources of early interest in science”) is a reference to the tale of how one Ph.D. student in chemistry recalls first getting excited by science. In her 3rd grade classroom, students were dissecting cow eyes, the study explains. She brought some “leftover” eyes home in a brown paper bag and put them in her refrigerator. The only problem was that she forget to tell her mother, who screamed when she discovered what she expected to be lunch leftovers.
“From that point,” she recalls, “I started to really love science.”
My early love of science was fed by the many science fiction novels I read in my youth. Getting kids excited about science is a passion of mine, and motivates some of my writing, in the hopes that it might spark a child’s interest in worm holes, or genetic engineering, or building really cool spaceships that use anti-matter drives. One story isn’t going to solve the nation’s critical lack of engineering and science majors. But it might light up one little girl’s eyes with stars and interstellar drama.
And that would make it all worthwhile.
What makes writing worthwhile for you, writerly friends?