Early experiences with science can lead to a life-long interest. But at a time when a good STEM education is essential for participation in the 21st century economy, regular science education has all but disappeared from many elementary schools in the United States.
EDC’s Abigail Jurist Levy, a science education researcher, is trying to reverse this trend. Levy is leading the launch of the Coalition for Elementary Science, an initiative to promote more time—and time better spent—on elementary science education in classrooms throughout New England. In this podcast, Levy discusses the Coalition and describes how to inspire young students’ interest in science.
On the importance of supporting science at a young age
Levy: Children are coming into school . . . highly capable scientific explorers who are making sense of the world around them. . . . And when we set all that capacity aside, and postpone it until they are older, we’ve caused them to lose all that momentum.
On how much science elementary students should receive at school
Levy: [The National Science Teachers Association] just released a new position statement on elementary science. What they are saying is that science is a core subject [and] it should be treated like a core subject, which means it should get the hour a day that mathematics and ELA also command.
On what she hopes the Coalition for Elementary Science will accomplish
Levy: [W]hat the Coalition is trying to do [is] to bring together a wide, diverse group of stakeholders . . . to make sure that all of our kids get the kind of start in science that we know that they need.