January 20, 2012 | 4
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.
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.
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