Schools should experiment with science programs to draw kids' interest – report

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Just 33 percent of teenagers have been involved in science groups and clubs, whether in school or extracurricular, according to a new survey from Change the Equation and the Amgen Foundation, part of a biotechnology company.

Eight out of 10 students are interested in science, but most say they are not being stimulated by the subject – in or out of school. While class discussions and teaching from the textbook are the traditional methods of instruction, students say that hands-on lab experiments, virtual experiments and real-world engagement would make science more interesting.

Students from low-income households are five times less likely to know someone who works in biology, but 86 percent of students believe knowing an adult in their field of interest would be helpful in their future careers, according to the report.

According to the study, 86 percent of students also said “a class influenced their potential career choices,” but with the lack of engaging science courses, fewer students are choosing careers in science.

To stoke kids’ interest in science, the report notes, schools should choose curricula and teaching materials and include extracurricular activities that emphasize hands-on and virtual learning.

Reach the reporter at darlene.aderoju@edscoop.com and follow her on Twitter @buuukky.

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