‘Eyeballs in the Fridge’: Science Interest Starts Early March 10, 2010Posted by Connie Chow in For parents, From the media, STEM pipeline efforts.
We’re taking a one-day hiatus from the Letter to My Young Self project to highlight this interesting study that was published last week.
The title came from one of the scientists whose third grade teacher let her bring home a jar full of eyeballs. Her mother was, em, surprised by them when she opened the fridge.
In this study, Robert Tai and his colleague Adam Maltese at the Curry School of Education analyzed over 100 interviews with scientists and grad students and found that scientists’ initial interest in their subject is mostly sparked before they enter middle school. This further supports a realignment of STEM pipeline policy efforts to target elementary school students if we want to create more scientists in the future.
The 2006 study looked at over 3000 post-college students and suggest that those who said they wanted a career in science in 8th grade were more likely to stick it out in college in those majors.
Update: See Robert Tai discuss his studies and his views on improving science interest in this video.