Read in Ned: The Tragedy of Science Education

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Geneva Mixon, Nederland

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” ~Albert Einstein

I have immense respect for educators. I truly believe that good teachers are heroes who are called to the profession. It is a great tragedy that they are not appreciated as such. Their job has gotten infinitely more challenging in the last decade since the Unites States has moved to a “standards based” education system. There is very little time for fun, or natural discovery in the classroom.

Meanwhile, every year the United States lags further and further behind other nations when it comes to positioning our young people to be leaders in the scientific community. Many tech and science jobs are disappearing from the US market or being filled by better-qualified immigrants. In my opinion this is a modern tragedy.

Gandhi (a personal hero) is often misquoted as having said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Recently I learned that this is a simplification of Gandhi’s true words. Still, this slogan is something I have embraced, and I use it to help motivate me during the low and challenging times of my life. How can I expect to enact change except through my own actions and deeds? It might seem trite to some, but I do the work I do because I want to be a catalyst for good things. I can’t change the world, but perhaps I can make my corner of it, my community, a bit better.

This year the theme for the Children’s Summer Reading Program is “Fizz, Boom, Read.” The program is a celebration of science. I am so excited to explore science with area kids this summer. I commend teachers for their hard work, and I hope the program I have built will help build upon the foundations our teachers have created.

I wish to inspire a sense of discovery in the kids of our community. Science is magic. Science could not exist without imagination. If I can inspire just a few kids, if I can ignite a passion in them that they will carry outside of the library and into their daily lives….Well, inspiring kids to explore science and identify themselves as scientists would be most satisfying.

I have worked hard to build a Summer Reading Program that will literally be a blast. We will be experiencing the combustion of chemical reactions. We will explore one of our most precious resources: water. We will learn about non-Newtonian fluids by making lots of slimy, snotty, gooey, liquids. We will explore the world of our insect friends, and learn how macroinvertebrates (bugs in the stream) can teach us about the health of an ecosystem. It is my hope that we will discover that science is a playful, dynamic, and inspirational pursuit.

No registration is required for the Children’s Summer Reading Program. This year the program will be open to all drop-ins, but we will need a permission slip signed by a parent or legal guardian on file for every participant. Kids ages 6-11 years old just need to arrive at the library by 10:30 a.m. on Tuesdays from June 17th until July 22nd.

We also have Reading Rewards Programs for all kids and teens ages 0-18. For more information visit nedlib.org, call the library at 303-258-1101, or email me at genevam.ncl@gmail.com.

There is something for everyone at Nederland Community Library.


Geneva Mixon is the Program Coordinator for the Nederland Community Library. She is a contributor to the Read in Ned column for the Mountain-Ear

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