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#26 JKoelman


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Posted 12 November 2012 - 01:35 AM

Yeah, it is apparently fashionable in certain circles to just pick some random theory and bash it till kingdom come, along with everyone supporting them. High school never ends, I guess.

Indeed. I find it discomforting and at the same time ironic that in less-informed circles science bashing is becoming bon ton. I say "ironic" because if doubting consensus amongst specialists is already an act of profound arrogance, increasing the stakes by accusing these specialists of arrogance becomes a laughable proposition.

Back to OP's question: yes, any child should get exposure to astronomy and more in particular to modern cosmology, and such a course should be mandatory. We all need to know our place in the universe. One might discuss details such as when best during a child's education to introduce astronomical and cosmological insights, what should be the exact contents, and whether such a class should be introduced as part of a physics course or as a separate course, but I can't even imagine a single valid objection against the general idea.

#27 ColoHank



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Posted 12 November 2012 - 12:07 PM

Our local school district here in western Colorado currently lumps astronomy instruction in with earth science, which in turn is lumped in with general science in the lower grades.

The district, however, has announced plans to sponsor a three-year pilot program in cooperation with the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife to immerse half of the sixth-grade kids from just one middle school in a residential five-day science camp experience. Astronomy will be one of the many subjects covered, and our astronomy club has been asked to provide instruction, including an observing session under the stars.

The other half of the sixth-grade kids from that school will serve as a control group. If it can be demonstrated that the camp kids acquire and retain a greater science awareness than the kids in the control group, the program will be expanded to include all sixth graders throughout the district. As of now, the pilot program is fully funded by outside donors, including a number of environmental and other organizations.

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