“I HATE SCIENCE!” was my thirteen-year old brother’s response when I asked him how he felt about school and the classes he’s currently taking. As a scientist myself I cringed at the thought that someone with similar DNA as me could even utter those words, but I held back my urge to yell at him and instead inquired why. He explained that unlike english or social studies, science was just an over-load of random facts that he was forced to memorize. He ended our conversation by hopelessly saying “science just isn’t fun…”
As I hung up the phone I stood there bewildered. How did my own brother think that science, the subject that is everywhere and probably the closest thing we have to true magic, isn’t fun?! I remember when he used to come home from kindergarten and explain to me for hours how the dinosaurs died or how our heart pumps blood. Where, I wondered, did that pure passion go?
After a few moments of pondering these questions, it hit me. My brother’ view of science, along with millions of other kids’ views on science is extremely misinformed. This misinformed view that science is horribly boring and pointless begins around middle school. In third grade most kids have their first real science class. These classes aren’t about discovering though, but instead are based on reading boring textbooks and then filling in bubbles for hours on end in order to get that perfect A+. Slowly but surely through the influence of teacher, parents, and many other adult figures, the kids become robots who sit there as scientific facts go in one ear and our the other and then utter the horrendous phrase of "I hate science".
How, you may ask, do we combat this issue of hatred? Simple. We encourage kids to discover. We no longer squash their passion with boring facts and tests but instead foster their innocent need to wonder, observe, and discover. We must stop presenting scientific studies in a sleep-inducing, passive-voice, jargon-fileld format and begin making them into readable, exciting mysteries whose solutions advance and better our society and the world as a whole. Only when we make this switch will the norm feeling for science shift from being hatred to the original five-year-old-like love and passion for it.