It is not nearly enough for students to simply churn out answers from memory. No, in our ever-changing time, they need to be able to think expansively and creatively. In order to solve the complex problems of tomorrow, the traditional academic skills of reading, writing, and arithmetic must be replaced with creativity, curiosity, critical thinking and collaboration — skills that are inherent in scientific research.
In Save Our Science: How to Inspire a New Generation of Scientists, Yale professor Ainissa Ramirez makes an impassioned call for a recommitment to improve science, technology, engineering and math education — often referred to as STEM — in our schools and throughout our society. She describes what habits we need to change to make STEM fun again, as well as a plan for how to increase every child’s participation in these disciplines.
Ramirez notes: “The artist Pablo Picasso once said that all children are born artists and that the trick is to stay that way as an adult. I believe that all children have an inner scientist within them, and we need to get them in touch with their inner scientist again.”
Save Our Science is available for the Kindle and Nook, as well as through the iBookstore. Or download the TED Books app for your iPad or iPhone. A subscription costs $4.99 a month, and is an all-you-can-read buffet.
Ramirez is no stranger to TED. At TED2012, she gave a powerful plea for us to rethink STEM education. Pointing out that we are quickly running out of rare earth minerals, essential for almost all of our technology, Ramirez believes that it will take major ingenuity to create a way to recycle these precious materials. Are we as a society prepared? Could this be a Sputnik moment for education? Read all about her talk »
Ramirez was also the educator behind the TED-Ed lesson “Magical metals, how shape memory alloys work,” which used slices of bologna to bring walking, talking atoms to life. Watch the fascinating lesson below.