Scientists Learn From Kids, Kids Become Scientists in New MU Effort

via the National Science Foundation: A unique collaboration featuring University of Missouri scientists and graduate students will help young students develop their interests in science, while teaching doctoral students how to communicate their work to the general public.

National statistics indicate that many children fall behind and lose interest in science during the crucial fourth and fifth grades. Now, a unique collaboration featuring University of Missouri scientists and graduate students will help young students develop their interests in science while teaching doctoral students how to communicate their work to the general public. […]

“We want young kids to stay in the science pipeline, and if we enhance science content, learning and motivation at these grades, we believe there will be a long-term impact on these students as they progress into college,” said Candace Galen, professor of biological science in the MU College of Arts and Science.  […]

Galen said one part of the program will feature elementary students writing competitive grant proposals to bring new science resources to their classrooms. These proposals will be critiqued by professional scientists that will evaluate the proposals based on strength of writing and value of the proposed investment for science learning.

“Writing a grant proposal requires English, math, research and persuasion skills, which plays across the board for what teachers want their students to learn,” Galen said. “They’re going to compete for the best project for their school and that’s a real motivator for kids. …”

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