Just in case you were beginning to worry that I might only be writing letters to the editor as a means to challenge regressive thinking, I would like to share the following letter celebrating scientific literacy in children! Enjoy!
Thank you for the front-page story about Marietta High School science students working with Burruss Elementary School students to help them understand the scientific method (“Scientific Method: 10th-graders guide fifth-graders through biology experiments, MDJ, 11/25/16”).
The young people in both of these schools will hopefully carry with them into adulthood, an understanding of how things work and why we trust the scientific method as the best available means for gaining knowledge about the natural world.
Basic scientific literacy is something clearly lacking in the United States as evidenced by the sheer unwillingness or inability of so many, particularly our elected officials, to understand concepts such as climate change, evolution by natural selection, immunizations, and so on. These are all topics in science. They are all fact-based. They are all underpinned by the work of thousands of highly educated, highly trained scientists using the scientific method. To deny these realities given what is known is to admit willful ignorance of facts.
Reading about these children learning and understanding what so many adults seem to have missed along the way is, to say the least, hopeful. This story and others like it give us something for which to be optimistic! Thank you again.