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The Importance of Science Education in Children and Their Future Career Paths

As we get older we forget many things we are taught in school about some of the

most basic things, and for many, it is the basics of math and science. Somewhere there

lies a better method of teaching these vital concepts in a way that they will be retained

and utliized. After asking peers, family members, and friends about their knowledge of

specific science topics such as astronomy, it was shocking to find out how little they

actually remembered from their past education.

Growing up in California and attending school there, I realize I may have had a

different educational experience than those who attended school in Utah or other areas.

Most of what I remember about astronomy (pre this class) compared to my friends and

family is fairly similar. Basic knowledge such as learning about the solar system via

small art projects was probably the most common retained knowledge among my

friends and family. While that is a more memorable part of science among everyone I

spoke to, there are so many other interesting topics about the solar system that many

don’t remember.

Studies have shown that it is best to get children interested in STEM from an

early age. ​“Research has shown that early exposure to STEM initiatives and activities

positively impacts elementary students' perceptions and dispositions” (Bagiati, Yoon,

Evangelou, & Ngambeki, 2010; Bybee, & Fuchs, 2006).​ ​Not only are the STEM

categories interesting and useful in all parts of life, it can actually improve a child’s

ability to learn other complex subjects as well. As of late, these fields are only going to
grow in demand and we need to learn how to get children, especially in encouraging

young girls who are often not always encouraged to pursue STEM fields, to teach the

importance of science and math and the possibilities that come with these career paths.

I was curious to see how much elementary astronomy my co-workers at the

restaurant I work at remember, so I conducted a survey with a few general astronomy

questions and the results were not surprising. Most people could not remember most of

the basic things. If I hadn’t been taking this course, I’m curious at how well I would have

done as well. I’ve included this survey and the results below to summarize the

knowledge of my coworkers.

Talking to my family, friends, and peers, I realized that science topics, especially

astronomy specifically, is not something that many people know a lot about. It is such

an interesting topic and I think that if it were taught more directly and intentionally, we

would see an increase in students who pursue it as a career path or hobby. This is

important because astronomy, among other things, is one of the many science subjects

that is often overlooked in our educational systems.


Phys 1040 - Survey How much elementary science can you remember from grade
school?

1) The largest circular storm in our solar system is on the surface of what planet?
a. Jupiter - 56%
b. Venus - 17%
c. Uranus - 6%
d. Earth - 21%

2) Where is Olympus Mons located?


a. Jupiter - 25%
b. Venus - 14%
c. Titan - 29%
d. Mars - 32%

3) How many planets are in our solar system?


a. 14
b. 9 - 22%
c. 8 - 78%
d. 4

4) Which planet is closest to the sun?


a. Mercury - 42%
b. Venus - 40%
c. Earth
d. Mars- 18%

5) Who was the first man to land on the moon?


a. Neil Armstrong - 87%
b. Neil deGrasse Tyson
c. Buzz Aldrin - 7%
d. Yuri Gagarin - 6%

6) Who discovered the moons of jupiter?


a. Aristotle - 23%
b. Galileo 41%
c. Albert Einstein - 9%
d. Isaac Newton - 27%