In case I have not made this clear in the past, I really appreciate Montys approach to exposing kids to science.
He does not dumb things down. He demands that the scientists he works with do *not* dumb down their science ‘for kids’. When I worked with him for a program at the Stillwater Public Library, this approach did not lead to confused, bored kids– It lead to really freaking great questions from kids.
And kids need to be exposed to *real science*. Not Erlenmeyer flasks of bubbling green liquid ‘science’ or Rube Goldberg machine ‘science’– Those are caricatures, what laymen think science and engineering are. Instead, Monty takes the approach of “What the hell are actual working scientists doing every day? Why?”
When I was a kid, I was lucky enough to get to go to tons of nerd camps. At those camps, they didnt treat us like kids– they treated us as future professionals. They exposed us to real science. Its how I learned I DID NOT WANT to be an engineer– had a little mental breakdown in a 3M. I was so bored! CANNOT DO THIS! It wasnt all colored mini marshmallows and toothpicks.
Exposing kids to lots and lots and lots of different kinds of *real* science is an honest way to get kids into science, and even if it ultimately leads them to “I dont like this…”, they at least have an understanding and appreciation of what actual scientists and engineers do.
I also love that Monty does not shy away from controversy. When he initially asked me to do a program for him, I was like ‘Welp, your options are an evolution talk or a vaccine talk… This is Oklahoma… are you sure?”
Yeah he was!
Science is science– And Monty isnt afraid of a little potential controversy to get the kids some information. On his next potential future album, he might include the song inspired by my talk to the kids, “Vaccination“!