Life’s a funny thing. When we asked our Facebook followers when they knew they wanted to be teachers, an astonishing number responded that they knew quite early, when they were young children. When I was a young child, I wanted to be a firefighter, mainly because of my love for dalmatians. I’ve wanted to be a lot of things, but the general field that always seemed hardest to figure out was science. Yet I love science. From websites (such as http://www.itsokaytobesmart.com/ and http://www.boingboing.net) to books (like Flu by Gina Kolata or Biocentrism by Bob Berman and Robert Lanza) to personalities (such as Bill Nye and the late Carl Sagan), I crave science and wish I could understand so much more. Yes, Large Hadron Collider, please tell me about the Higgs boson and neutrinos and string theory!
Experts say that the best hands-on science lessons are not simply recipes, but true experiments and explorations that encourage critical thinking. You want your students, no matter their age, to be able to ask and answer the how and the why questions. (Personally, I think our 20-Minute Science books do a great job of this and are a perfect resource for teachers trying to squeeze in science lessons.)
So now I turn it over to you, Gentle Reader. Do you like teaching science lessons? Do you think your science curriculum is doing a good job of encouraging your young biologists, chemists, physicists, quantum theorists, and geologists?