Motivating Students to Study Science

Why do good students not necessarily choose science courses in high school?

A: Outside Influences

  • Parental past experiences

  • Bad counseling from Guidance Counselors and teachers in other areas

  • Peer pressure

  • Negative subconscious messages

B: Lack of Information

  • Not aware of options in science careers

  • focused on financial benefits of careers

C: Work Load

  • Lots of work required and need to balance against outside interests (job, music, etc.)

  • Perception that science is too hard and only for really smart people

  • Mark fixations for University entrance

D: Resources and Teaching Practices

  • Funding for good equipment lacking sacrifices good teaching

  • Science applications not related to student interests or cutting edge science

  • Teachers with non-science background teaching science lack knowledge to provide enrichment

  • Teachers who don’t do labs or hands on activities due to whatever reason (lazy, unaware, discipline issues) fail to show what real science involves

E: Value of Science Education

  • Need for science research and innovation not in our face (silver spoon)

  • Science is a hobby

  • Natural curiousity is squashed by factors like course requirements, marks

 

Solutions

 

A: Outside Influences

  • Address negative marketing about science and math

  • Showcase careers/jobs that are non-academic

  • Include diverse role models in all programs

B: Lack of Information

  • Showcase careers / jobs that are non-academic

  • Co-op opportunities encouraged at CLS and other such research facilities

  • Students on the Beamline excellent way to show real science careers

  • Advertise local public science lectures and encourage groups to go

  • Promote guest speakers in school

  • University science departments have programs to visit schools

C: Work Load

  • Include diverse role models in all programs

  • Work load of a science student is a reality. Develop strategies to help students overcome it

D: Resources and Teaching Practices

  • Provide pre-made packages of teaching materials (kits). Varied and easily accessed resources in one spot

  • Science on Stage Canada exposes teachers to ideas that have already been tried and proven

  • Train teachers for project based teaching to promote creativity and individual skills and thinking

  • Ideas for long term projects that incorporate range of curriculum / skills

  • Provide funding for teachers to attend programs like CLS, SoSC, and Einstein Plus, as well as provincial association meetings like OAPT, STAO.

E: Value of Science Education

  • Co-op opportunities encouraged at CLS and other such research facilities

  • Students on the Beamline excellent way to show real science careers

  • Programs for students working in the field encouraged across Canada not just at CLS

  • Global view and collaboration with schools in other areas

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