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The Scientist Corps: 1,000 Scientists in 1,000 Days

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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Improving science education is not just important to me as the editor in chief of a science magazine for the usual reasons of maintaining our country’s well-being and global competitiveness: It’s also very personal. I have two school-age daughters myself—and they think science is cool. So when I got the top editor’s job at Scientific American two years ago, I thought hard about what a magazine could productively do to help foster that kind of enthusiasm about science, and help create the next generation of “scientific Americans.”

One of the ideas we developed is the program called 1,000 Scientists in 1,000 Days, which we made available to teachers in October 2011.

Microbiologist Benjamin TenOever speaks to students about what it's like to be a scientist. Courtesy NY1

The idea of 1,000 Scientists is simple: connect science teachers and their bright-eyed charges with scientist volunteers who are willing to visit the classroom and talk about their work firsthand. NY1 created a lovely video, Chelsea Students Change Their Scientific Perceptions, of one such volunteer, microbiologist Benjamin TenOever, when he visited a New York City classroom. As you’ll see, he wasn’t what some students were expecting. I felt inspired by the video, and thought you might like it, too.

Mariette DiChristina About the Author: Editor in Chief, Mariette DiChristina, oversees Scientific American,, Scientific American MIND and all newsstand special editions. Follow on Twitter @mdichristina.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. jschmuki 10:25 am 01/22/2012

    There is no “Art” category under the educator sign-up. How uncreative!

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  2. 2. KSOFAMERICA 10:59 pm 02/20/2012

    Ideas: Why not find a way to use what makes fire flies, sea fish or neon that can glow in the dark be put to use toward light bulbs? Find a way to prolong their ability to be lit up to use in the form of a light bulb. Perhaps, make the light bulbs rechargeable by placing them outside and recharge them by solar power from the sun.

    Why not, find a way to use all 4 commonly known elements (Earth, fire, wind and water) toward having a vehicle work instead of only using gasoline? Perhaps, gasoline can still be used, but sparingly, as a back up if all 4 elements can’t be used for whatever reason. (Examples: There’s no wind, the water in the vehicle runs out and there’s none available near by, the ground is frozen, or perhaps you use plants to burn to make the vehicle run and you can’t get any more to put into your vehicle to help make it run or the sun’s not out and it’s night and your solar power ran out) Why not use this idea toward all electronic devices in general?


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  3. 3. KSOFAMERICA 11:16 pm 02/20/2012

    Idea: Why not create Earthworm farms all over America to eat all of the garbage we put into our land fills? I once watched a documentary about an elderly blind man who ran an Earthworm farm. He bred them and said that they could consume any kind of garbage and would only excrete harmless waste or nitrogen in return. If we know about this as being a great solution to our waste problem, then why aren’t we putting this into effect?!

    Questions: Why can Earthworms eat any kind of garbage and not be harmed? Why not find out how, why and what’s inside of them that enables them to be able to break down any kind of garbage or waste material without being harmed? Put whatever it is in them that can enable them to do that into effect in all of our landfills by breeding them at all landfills, rapidly reducing the harm on the Earth and the environment more hastily.


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  4. 4. amalcr 8:09 pm 03/8/2012

    Mariette, I have always wondered who is the chief editor of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN. What is your curriculum vitae, education and bent? Thanks!

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