Monday, May 17, 2010


The PJAS (Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Sciences) State competition was help today at Penn State, University Park. I've judged before and have always had a wonderful time (if your in State College, look for it next Spring!). This year I judged 9th grade Biology and 8th grade Physics. Both had some projects that were quite impressive for students just starting in the Sciences, although I'm sure they had some help from their parents/teachers/sponsors, in coming up with the ideas.

I met some parents, and some teachers.

One of the teachers, a middle school science teacher, was complaining about the state science standards, and how evolution is required on the Keystone standards and how she absolutely refuses to teach evolution to her middle school students. What!?! I couldn't let it go. I might have alluded to that attitude being self-defeating and cowardly, in so many words. What chance does Science education have if our teachers refuse to teach?

Her attitude was in contrast to the students we had just judged, one of whom referenced the evolutionary origins of the plants he was studying.

Moral of the day: Fourteen-year-olds may, at times, have more brains and guts than fourty-something inept middle school Science teachers.

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