Ever wonder why Americans are so scientifically illiterate?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jack Briggs, Jun 6, 2002.

  1. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Well, the answer to that question is easy: Science is hard. That's why students in the U.S. score so poorly on science and math aptitude tests. So, remember, science is hard.
    Get the lowdown here .
     
  2. Jefferson

    Jefferson Supporting Actor

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    [​IMG] Gotta love The Onion that makes you laugh, not cry.
     
  3. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    Well sure it's hard! All my non-engineering classes in college seemed like a piece of cake compared to, say, Fluid Dynamics or Heat Transfer. But fundamentally, I think that science in the culture seems to be "uncool" with a lot of people. The "science nerds" in school don't get the girls--the "big dumb jocks" get them. Intellectually gifted kids face a degree of social ostracization. Popular periodicals blare unscientific nonsense that's also emotionally comforting to a lot of people. Bottom line, science isn't "rewarding" enough to make the hard work worth it.
     
  4. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    I think there's also a terrible problem with the way its taught at younger ages. Everybody is taught that its hard, and its not taught like other subjects at all. I went to school at a university that had a large Education program. Many of the students I met that were going into elementary education feared math and struggled with the basic math requirements in their degree, which typically was just one course in College Algebra. What does that mean their students will learn? Unfortunately its a recursive problem, until the teachers are taught better when they're in school, they can't teach the students better. Of course many parents have the same problem, their lack of proper math education makes it difficult to teach their children.

    Science probably has similar problems. Plus another biggie that's totally inappropriate to discuss on this forum.
     
  5. Denward

    Denward Supporting Actor

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    Math and science are full of objective truths. You have to learn how to get to the right answer, period. They're rigid and unforgiving.

    Other topics have more subjectivity so there's a lot more wiggle room to get acceptable (or even outstanding) performance.

    In school, I actually found math and science to be easier because it was clear when you were done. With English and History papers, it was more difficult for me to determine when it was good enough (it usually happened about 15 minutes before the deadline.)
     
  6. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    I'd like to forward the article to my aunt who's a physicist, but I don't think she's read The Onion and probably would take it out of context. [​IMG]
     
  7. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    I like this little bit:
     
  8. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    Real Name:
    Ron
  9. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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  10. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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  11. Joe_C

    Joe_C Supporting Actor

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  12. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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  13. Joe_C

    Joe_C Supporting Actor

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    Yeah I do agree that that a radical fluctuation in social environment can create more problems...but only at first. It still depends on how the situation is handled by that child/teenager. Both my dad and uncle were considered child geniuses, and skipped several grades a piece. They directly inherited my grandpa's brains. He is/was a literal "rocket scientist" - aerospace engineer, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, etc. He has like half a dozen different engineering degrees and designed the wingflap control system for the B1-bomber and co-designed the engine for the Saturn V.
    My dad was like three years younger than everyone else in his class. My uncle didn't handle it very well, and became an arrogant prick (he still is). Fortunately, my pops fit right in and had a great time hanging out with his older friends. Two "intellectually gifted" kids who handled nearly the same situation in two completely different ways.
    I just wish I had inherited the "genius" genes [​IMG]
     
  14. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    Barbie was right!
     
  15. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Joe, my Dad and his older brother had a similar problem. My dad skipped two grades and graduated with him, and along with having differing directions in life, they've never been close. I don't know if they had the issues with friends, however they just don't have anything to do with each other.
     
  16. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    I would love to meet your grandfather

    Anyone who helped bring us to the moon has a hearty handshake and thankyou coming from me. I may not have been alive for Apollo, but what was done by all the men and women involved in that program swells me with pride in my fellow man every time I think about it
     
  17. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Joe C: The first-stage F-1 engines, or the second- and third-stage J-2 engines? My hand is extended in spirit. Like Jeff, I have the deepest admiration for those who made the mighty Saturn V launch vehicle possible. I saw the bird lift off in person during the launch of Apollo 15. JB
     
  18. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Hey, this thread looks familiar! [​IMG]
    Oh well, it's funny stuff and worth repeating...
     
  19. Ashley Seymour

    Ashley Seymour Supporting Actor

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    I think we are moving away from having gifted students advanced several grades and I think it has valid reasons.

    New theories of eq emotional quotient are another way of looking at intelligence and the potential for having a happy and meaningful life.

    My daughter, no a junior in college, was intelligent as a child (not rocket scientist smart), but I saw her social skills were predominant. She would play "Barbie" by the hour like a boy would play with toy soldiers or video games. She also took dance glasses and is now an instructor.

    She has an August birthday so she could have started first grade at age 5. I decided to have her wait a year and start at age 6, on the theory that she would be more mature and have a greater advantage in dealing with fellow students etc. It has worked well and I would easily do it again. She never scored 1600 on her SAT's, but I think by the time she is 30 she will be earning over $100,000 per year. Don't know in what environment, but she is adaptable.
     
  20. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Since we're on the subject of science and humor...
     

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