One Solution to America’s STEM Problem: Make Intro Science Classes Less Boring
Scott Zeger really wants to get away from the idea intro science classes are weeder courses. Jam-packed lectures that about half of all Johns Hopkins students take are some of the most difficult to teach and take, Inside Higher Ed reports today. This stat was startling:
At Johns Hopkins, more than 60 percent of incoming freshmen in 2006 indicated an interest in a STEM (science, technology, engineering or math) career. Of those students, 57 percent earned a degree in one of those fields.
Zeger wants to make such courses more interactive, using tricks like breaking chocolate bars into pieces to illustrate a point about clinical trials, for instance. I certainly remember taking intro science courses. They were boring and difficult and didn’t do much to entice folks like me to pursue a career in science. It could be a way to get more folks into the pipeline to begin with.