Science education is a highly dynamic field of applied and basic research and of research-based development. Which is why it’s curious that competitions like the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF)—whose contestants each year vie for more than $5 million total in prizes, including $75,000 for the top winner—haven’t quite captured the public imagination. That may soon change. A new documentary follows a handful of teens who participated in last year’s ISEF, along with the no-nonsense Long Island, New York, teacher who managed to help nine of her students qualify for the competition.
These strands illustrate the importance of moving beyond a simple dichotomy of instruction in terms of science as content or science as process. That is, teaching content alone is not likely to lead to proficiency in science, nor is engaging in inquiry experiences devoid of meaningful science content. Rather, students across grades K-8 are more likely to … Read more