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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Science education: It's not just for kids at the Michigan Science Center | Model D

Photo: David Sands
"STEM jobs are being touted as critically important in the U.S., which is one reason why the Michigan Science Center offers programs targeted at audiences of all ages" according to David Sands, Detroit-based freelance writer.
 
An After Dark gaming event
Photo: courtesy of the Michigan Science Center.
 
Ever notice how young children are fascinated by dinosaurs, rocket ships and nature hikes? There's a reason for that; kids possess a natural curiosity about the world around them that makes science and technology appealing fields of exploration. Unfortunately, many people lose their sense of wonder for these topics as they grow older.

According to the National Center for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Elementary Education at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota, a third of all children have lost their interest in science by the time they reach the fourth grade. It's even worse by eighth grade, when research shows a staggering 50 percent of students have lost interest in science or consider it irrelevant to their education or future plans. 
 

Visitors look at an exhibit from "1001 Inventions"
Photo: courtesy of the Michigan Science Center.

With STEM jobs being touted as critically important in the U.S. for the foreseeable future, that's bad news. But at the Michigan Science Center, programs targeted at audiences of all ages are changing the conversation in Metro Detroit.

"People tend to think that we focus on elementary school programs," says Charles Gibson, Director of Innovation and Outreach with the Detroit-based institution. "But we also look for interactive ways to engage middle school students, teens and young adults."


The center's current special exhibit, "1001 Inventions: Untold Stories from a Golden Age of Innovation," is a wonderful example of this hands-on approach. The exhibit educates visitors about an exciting period of technological innovation in the 7th through 17th centuries with a combination of films, video games, hands-on activities and live actors. Open through January 7, the award-winning exhibit is free with paid general admission.
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Source: Model D


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