USA Science and Engineering Festival: The Blog

Not Your Daddy’s Science Classroom!

By Stacy Jannis

i-5fa2b0cb6fd0ab30cd6e53693d30c1bb-classroom1950-thumb-300x225-72855.jpgExciting things are happening in 21st century classrooms all over our country. Teachers and students are using cutting-edge technology, working in teams, and connecting and sharing projects with classrooms all over the world. Innovative groups like the Concord Consortium , Promethean World , Project Lead the Way and Epals are at the forefront of creating the curriculum, software, tools and environment of tomorrow’s classroom, today. A rich and exciting mix is brewing, one that combines multimedia, digital simulations, games, computer programming, inquiry and project-based learning, to accelerate our children’s skills to think creatively, work collaboratively, and train to tackle 21st century problems.

Can we save the world through science and engineering? We think so! We are inspired by the excellence and passion for science and science education that takes place in innovative classrooms all over the country, every day.

A 6th grade classroom at Friends School Haverford took up this challenge as part of the Kavli Science Video Contest. As a class, they researched, brainstormed ideas, and focused on topics including energy, health, and the environment. Then they let their creativity go wild, including writing and recording original music, animations, and video. Here’s what some of the kids said on the last day of the project:

“This project has changed how I think about science. I knew science could cure sickness and diseases, but I never realized science could save the world.”

“I really got a better understanding of what science can do.”

“I already thought [science] was fun and important but doing this project made me think about science as a way to change the world.”

“Science isn’t always just researching, working in the lab, or finding solutions to problems every day. Science can be fun and exciting.”

The Kavli Science Video Contest challenges students to investigate how science and engineering saves our world, and answer the central theme creatively.
Grades 6-12 students compete for the chance to win $2000 (first prize) and a travel stipend to Washington DC to attend the festival. The winners are also honored in an awards ceremony, hosted by Bill Nye, as part of the festival.

Our central theme, or driving question, is how to “Save the World through Science and Engineering”. Students make a short video( :30-:90) that shows how scientific discoveries and inventions can improve our lives and change our world, either right now or in the future. Enter by Mar. 21, 2012.

Click here to read more about the Festival and the Kavli Video Contest.