>> Monday, September 7, 2009
Raise your hand if you didn't think this was coming.
It should be no surprise that science is firmly entrenched among subjects I think are essential in any education. Science is not only fun, not only fascinating, not only a great way to learn about the world around us, about reality, it's one of the best ways to sharpen the old critical thinking skills.
And I have to tell you, I can't think of a skill more useful in the real world than a well-developed ability to think critically.
Science is a process used to help us understand our world as well as the body of knowledge we've developed to explain what happens in the world and universe around us. It is pivotal to every technological advancement, medical treatment, understanding of natural processes and disasters...really, there's almost no limit to how it affects our lives (and how we live it) as well as how we affect the world around us. Science is all about reality and we all need to deal with that -- even those of us that write fiction.
But, and I think this is key, even if you don't remember what animals have gone extinct (long list) or what causes a tsunamis (generally seismic events) or the chemical formula for hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), what you can take away from a science class is how you learn things in science, the questions you ask, the way you understand what answers make sense and how to know when something doesn't sound right. For this and this alone, science is an absolutely essential class.
But when you add all you are exposed to in the world around you, the ways to help you find more when you need it (or need a refresher) and know what makes sense and doesn't really (and how to tell), it's an even better deal. And the critical thinking applies to more than science.
I couldn't be a rocket scientist without loving science, loving learning, loving asking questions and exploring the answers. But you don't have to be a scientist of any flavor to learn lessons to last a whole life long with just a little dose of science.
Gotta love science. I sure do.