Britt Gow says teachers can foster a love of science by connecting students with working scientists, and explains how it is working in her rural Victorian school.
Despite all children having a natural curiosity for how the world works, there is a worrying trend in Australia of decreasing enrollments in senior secondary school science subjects. To be fair, science teachers have a lot of competition, with students seeking careers in new fields such as personal training, game development, event management and entertainment. So how can teachers and parents foster the natural curiosity of children and encourage an ongoing interest in the natural world? One strategy is for children to see and hear what scientists actually do in their work, introducing them to the excitement of discovery and the challenging world of research.
Modern technologies allow us to connect and communicate with real scientists, both locally and across the globe. Social media, such as Twitter and Skype, enables teachers and others to follow and chat with a diverse range of authentic researchers, science writers and other experts in astronomy, biology, chemistry, environmental science, genetics, physics and other fields.