The following is an editorial from FOX6 WBRC-TV General Manager Lou Kirchen, first aired on Thursday, April 24, 2014...
I'm so tired of hearing about American students falling behind much of the world in science and math. Late last year, yet another study from the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, showed that US students are performing well below students from many developed and even some third world countries in science and math scores…ranking 29th in math and 22nd in science, globally. This particular study tests 15 year olds from 65 countries. And, as happens with every report, the conversations swirl around why our students under-achieve and what can be done to improve those scores.
There's a lot of discussion about engaging children early-on, creating a passion for math and science. Right here in Alabama, in Birmingham, we have a gold mine…a place that is creating that passion for science in youth of all ages…from toddlers to teen agers. The McWane Science Center is a place where science lives.
For eight years, 3rd thru 5th graders from across the state of Alabama have competed in McWane's Celebrate Science program, creating real world solutions to real world problems. In the process, and Kathy Fournier, Vice President of Education at McWane, says it is indeed all about the process, they develop 21st century skills…creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication…all of which are needed in today's work force. These teams of students create prototypes of their projects and gather in the spring each year at McWane to see who have won the trophies and the cash awards for their classrooms. This year, 550 students, their teachers and parents waited expectantly to hear their names called. We're they excited about science? Oh yeah!
McWane Science Center…where the passion for science begins.
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