Home Store Project Ideas Project Guide Ask An Expert Blog Careers Teachers Parents Students

Science Education Shows Up In the State of the Union Speech

stateofunion-photo.jpg
State of the Union address, Jan. 25, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
In this week's State of the Union address, President Obama reminded the country of the vital importance of reinforcing for our students the fact that academic achievement is to be celebrated—and that academics should be on the same playing field with athletics. Speaking of the race to educate our kids, President Obama said, "We need to teach our kids that it's not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair."


Celebrate Participation—Not Just Winners

At Science Buddies, we agree that the value of scientific inquiry, and of the spirit to test and understand and explore, needs to be celebrated. Right now, many schools in the U.S. are in the middle of "science fair season." There will be many winners, and yet there will be many, many more "participants"—students who, as part of a class or just because they wanted to, took part in a local or school science fair. We think it's important to celebrate and support all of those students—each and every study who conducted an experiment, who studied the scientific method, who asked a question about how something works or what makes something happen or what might happen if I do this, who sat down to formulate a hypothesis, and who then put their research to the test with an experiment.


Get Involved

Will you be watching the Super Bowl? Will you talk the next day with your friends and family members about a great play, or even about a cool TV commercial? Did you talk with your friends and family about the Nobel Prize winners?

Helping encourage science education, helping make it "cool" to excel in school, to participate in science fair, and to envision a future in which each student can make a difference, takes all of us. You can help support STEM education in many ways. One step you can take is to visit your local science fair(s) and take an interest in the wide range of projects on display by all the students who participated, not only the display boards sporting ribbons. Take a minute to listen to a student's summary of her project. Take a minute to ask a question about a display board or an interesting finding or an unusual area of study. Take a minute to be inspired by what students can do, are learning, and can discover. And, even as you are inspired, make sure you take a moment to say so, to tell a student that what she has done matters.

You can also show the value of science education by making science a more important part of your family's life at home. Science news and scientific principles can easily become part of dinner conversation. From the gadgets and gizmos in popular movies to hot toys on the market to science discoveries making the news, science surrounds us. Our kids are using and soaking up science every day, but sometimes they don't realize that what they love involves science. And sometimes they don't realize that the discoveries being made by researchers around the world are discoveries that they, too, can explore with grade-appropriate projects and experiments that let them investigate important scientific principles and concepts. Talking about science with our students helps them make connections—and helps them make sense of the world around them.

You might be surprised what you and your students can explore and test and learn when you turn off the TV for a few hours. We've got a list of fun projects on the Science Buddies website that use materials you probably have on hand and don't take weeks to complete!

Making some of your "family time" also "science time" can have a huge impact on your students' view of science.


One Science Project can Change the World—And a Student's Future

Remember, your student's science project isn't just a school assignment. Instead, it is an opportunity for students to explore how the world around them works and to prepare themselves for life beyond school in the 21st century. Whether their hypothesis was proven or not, participating matters and is worth celebrating.




Note: Share with your students the stories of the four students who were invited to sit with the First Lady for this week's address!

Recently on the Blog

thumbnail

Bean Soup Science: Weekly Science Activity Spotlight


School and family science weekly spotlight: explore the science of making soup from dried beans.

thumbnail

Nick and Tesla Secret Agent Gadgets


Book 3 in the Nick and Tesla series offers great gadget-oriented science and engineering fun from the twins as they stay with their eccentric scientist uncle for the summer.

thumbnail

Pastry Science: Weekly Science Activity


School and family science weekly spotlight: explore the role of fat and temperature on pie crust texture.

thumbnail

Light Up the Season with Computer Science Exploration


With drag-and-drop computer programming, kids can explore fun activities that add lights and sounds lights to the season. We got in the holiday spirit with Scratch and Raspberry Pi to light up a simple light-activated star!

thumbnail

You Can Do That with Yogurt?


Grow bacteria colonies, create yogurt ravioli, even make your own top-secret recipe for delicious homemade yogurt.

thumbnail

Lotion Science: How Moisturizing is Your Moisturizer?


Hands-on medical biotechnology projects guide students in scientifically evaluating how common moisturizer ingredients work.

thumbnail

Seeing Science: Weekly Science Activity


School and family science weekly spotlight: explore the Stroop effect for family fun. How quickly can you name the colors?

thumbnail

Ebola Fighters Receive TIME Recognition


TIME recognizes "Ebola Fighters" as Person of the Year. Students explore science related to Ebola epidemic.

thumbnail

Beyond the School Science Fair: Advanced Science Competitions


A science project, especially an advanced one, may have a longer shelf life than just a single fair or a linear competition circuit. Top science students may find many events and venues in which to enter and showcase their research and findings.

thumbnail

Superbugs and Antibiotics: Explore with a Dice Game


A new classroom activity, sponsored by Cubist Pharmaceuticals, helps students see how populations of bacteria respond to antibiotics. Using a colorful dice game, students roll the dice to see how many bacteria respond to treatment each day.

thumbnail

Singing Science: Weekly Science Activity


School and family science weekly spotlight: explore variables related to individual vocal range.

thumbnail

GivingTuesday - Support Science Education


Support Science Buddies to help us keep our science education resources free for millions.

thumbnail

Squash Power


How do your favorite veggies compare when it comes to generating power? Find out with a hands-on science electronics kit from the Science Buddies Store!

thumbnail

Globs of Gluten: Weekly Science Activity


School and family science weekly spotlight: explore gluten in different types of flour.

thumbnail

A Bus Powered by Human Waste


Bio-Bus powered by human waste hits the roads for a test run in England.

Science Buddies Science Activities

Science Buddies and Autodesk for Student STEM Exploration


thumbnail
School and family science weekly spotlight: explore how different sorbents might help clean up an oil spill.

thumbnail
Highlights and favorite posts from last year on the Science Buddies Blog—great science project overviews, visual spreads that show hands-on science in action, and real-world connections.

thumbnail
A new website feature at Science Buddies, sponsored by Cisco Foundation, brings science news to students. With the news feed, students can easily locate science news stories related to a project or science interest.

thumbnail
Thanks to Aerojet Rocketdyne, the INFINITY Science Center, and Science Buddies, teachers in Mississippi got a booster course in rocket science—and paper airplane folding.

thumbnail
School and family science weekly spotlight: use dough to explore the relationship between dimensions of an object and volume.

thumbnail
In movies like Dolphin Tale, you don't have to look far to find the engineering design process in action. With the steps of the engineering process being acted out as the story unfolds, students see that success often involves a great deal of trial, error, testing, and redesigning.



Your Science!
What will you explore for your science project this year? What is your favorite classroom science activity? Email us a short (one to three sentences) summary of your science project or teaching tip. You might end up featured in an upcoming Science Buddies newsletter!



You may print and distribute up to 200 copies of this document annually, at no charge, for personal and classroom educational use. When printing this document, you may NOT modify it in any way. For any other use, please contact Science Buddies.