In article <email@example.com>, "Michael Hodges" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: >[snip] The system keeps >out many of the best (especially engineers who might take a leave of >absence to teach, or retired top engineers and scientists). No way are they >going to waste their time with education courses, but no way can a science >teacher who has not been in industry motivate students by going to the >blackboard and showing them how they can build up the math to cause a >satellite to reach its objective, or how to computer model auto tests for >the best crash-resistant materials. Real applications is what it often >takes to help students understand "why math and physics".
There *are* ways around this problem. I'm not a professional teacher, but several times a year I do hands-on science workshops in local schools. Evidently there are not many volunteers who do this. However, I get a great reception from teachers, administrition and students. I'm sure that channels could be set up in almost any school district to get engineers & scientists from the community to come in & do the kinds of real-world stuff you are talking about.
Recently, in response to a gap I perceived in the science curriculum in a local school, I called up a group of professors at area colleges and invited them to help put together a week-long science enrichment program to fill the gap. Everyone I asked agreed to participate. The principal and science teachers at the school are cooperating. And, another school in the area has asked to have the program presented there as well.
It takes gumption and dedication and a willingness to work for no pay, but it can be done.
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