Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What motivates students to study science?

An acquaintance asked me what motivates me to study science considering that my educational background was not originally in the natural sciences. Which, led me to think about what motivates others into studying science.

I was having a discussion with a fellow graduate student/lab member a few weeks back who told me about how she became interested in science. She told me of how her high school classes had their students memorize desperate facts for some sort of AP Bio test. She also told me about many somewhat uninteresting classes that she had to take as an undergraduate Bio major. And that if it wasn't for a single teacher during high school who made science interesting she wouldn't be studying it.

Although I am not privy as to how that teacher inspired his students, it made me think about how I became interested in science. What's funny is that I never had to go through the classes that make you memorize scientific facts, I learned them on my own time in the past couple of years with the help of Richard Dawkins, not because someone made me do it but because Prof. Dawkins made it seem so interesting. Perhaps the science classes could be improved if the people in charge of those classes introduced the students to what makes science so great. Maybe the students just need more motivation and reason to study science.

The following is a video that explains what makes science so great when you compare it to other disciplines.

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