Great ideas: World Science Festival and Science on Site
Next year, I promise, I’m going to make it to the World Science Festival in New York. What began as a cool idea by Brian Greene four years ago, has now become a smoragsboard of awesome science events—lectures, films, musical performances and even a street fair.
But this year, I think they added something that goes beyond just hearing about science, and turns participants into scientists. The WSF took over part of Governor’s Island and created Science on Site, where students could work with active scientists to join a botanical safari, explore the insect life on the island, or make observations of the sun.
The intactive parts of the World Science Festival are featured in a NYT article: Inquiring Minds on Governors Island.
How cool would it be to create a Science Festival at your own school, and make Science on Site a integrated part of the science curriculum? I could see so many possibilities at my own campus—from cataloging the all the species of trees, to measuring the flow of the creek that runs through our campus.
Doing this would be a step in the right direction to address the challenge Brian Green raises in the article:
Dr. Greene called for a rethinking of K-12 science education. “What other field are we thrilled and satisfied if by 12th grade our students are brought all the way up to 1687? Physics – if you learn Newton, you’re golden,” he said. “And that’s not the way it should be. We should really be bringing kids into the exciting things that have happened the last few centuries.”