As schools continue reopening (remotely or in-person instruction), I wondered about the fate of science. More specifically, when did science become so distrusted in this country? In the field of education, the acronym STEM stands for the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics which are integrated using a hands-on approach with relevant learning experiences. Most young children love science experiments appreciating the opportunity to test out theories and hypotheses before drawing conclusions. If you ever want to see children “engaged” in learning, just visit any classroom on the day when they get the opportunity to partner in groups performing a lab experiment. Students learn to work together to gather evidence and draw conclusions based upon their own observations, facts and data. Isn’t this what we encouraged them to do in our modern day educational indoctrination system – – to respect and trust science?
If the current political discord was more harmonious, perhaps there would be a different outlook on current events as it relates to science. The field of science has always had a certain mystique precisely because it forces humanity to contemplate and explore the unknown. Science has also had a past history of being used in harmful ways including crimes against humanity and violations so hideous many groups still carry the memories deep within the collective consciousness. Yet, we also still can’t deny the benefits that have occurred as a result of our science expansion leading to a better quality of life for many in this country and the world.
At this poignant time in his-tory, we are all critically listening to our politicians but some are discounting the recommendations of our scientists. Someone needs to explain how we, as adults, have now developed this extreme suspicion of the sciences. The public needs the most accurate, fact based information and data for the best interest of our children, families and educators. No matter what happens in the future, society will have to re-evaluate our commitment to the STEMS curriculum and provide more concrete evidence on its relevancy within any civilized society regardless of the country’s political affiliation or election year. We can’t turn a blind eye to the potential outcomes of our current decisions or the implications for the NU America to come.