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September 2, 2013

Ideas for Improving Science Education in the U.S.

If you could make one change to improve science education in the United States, what would it be?

Science Times asked that question of 19 Americans — scientists, educators, students — with a stake in the answer.

Their responses follow...

A few (isolated) quotes:

  • "K-12 students need to know the nature of science, how scientists work and the domains and limits of science."

  • "If I could change one thing about engineering education — well, actually, all education — it would be to center it around solving real problems and making things."

  • "If I could do one thing, I’d get real mathematicians who are math types to become math teachers. K-12 students need someone there with a real feel for the subject matter."

  • "We need to create opportunities to excite students about how math and science connect to real life."

  • "Science requires immersion."

  • "If I could change one thing, it would be to have the kids work in small groups more than they do now and get to apply their STEM learning to projects that benefit their community."

  • "I’d like to bring graduate students in science, engineering and mathematics into the elementary, middle and senior high schools to teach the science to these K-12 students."

  • "I’d like more hands-on projects where I would learn something about what I’m doing instead of just memorizing things from a textbook."

  • "I’d love to see a once-a-week day in K-12 devoted to invention — an “Idea Day.”"

  • "We’ve known for decades that family involvement is key to learning success for our nation’s children. So to me the answer is clear: We need to make it easy for families to have fun with science — to ask questions about how the world works, and to explore the answers together."

Kirtland Peterson

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