I know exactly how to save the world. It’s by teaching the next generation how to LOVE science. It’s by teaching our kids how to examine the world around them. It’s by giving them the tools they need to discover on their own. It’s by getting them so excited about science that they want to share their wealth of knowledge with others.
When was the last time you saw a concept concrete itself in someone’s brain? I’m fortunate enough to work in a setting where I get to see this happen frequently. I get to see those “ah-HA!” moments play out over students’ faces. It’s a look of joy and satisfaction in their new found ability. A few weeks ago, we had a highly science-based botany camp. The kids had access to microscopes and plant dissection tools. After we gave them a run-down on how to properly use a microscope, they took off! Each of them created their own slides with samples that they had gathered from our adventures. One after the other, they dipped their heads down to examine their slides. One of two things happen with an “ah-HA!” moment; either their mouths hang open in astonishment at what they’re seeing or they leap up in excitement to share their new discovery with anyone that will listen!
As an educator, both reactions are equally wonderful to witness. Shock and awe or pure excitement. The opportunity to help those moments happen is why I am involved with Cascade Mountain School and Mt. Adams Institute. I love that I get to help children understand science-based activities. I love to hear their discoveries and ideas. Lastly, I love knowing that kids leave camp excited to share their stories, skills and knowledge with their friends and family. That’s how you change the world. You teach children the basic skills and you set them loose. They’ll come back to you with an entirely new way to look at the world.