There is so much science happening right under our noses here in eastern Oklahoma. The OSU Center for Health Sciences is just one example. You’ll find research into biomedical and forensic science, healthcare, medicine, and ,my personal favorite, paleontology.
The cool thing is OSU-CHS has a fantastic resource to help you stay on top of what they’re doing. They call it the Research Spotlight. There are videos and information all on kinds of topics. The video below is one example of the research taking place right here in Tulsa!
I wrote previously about Senate bill 665. Sen. Josh Brecheen (R-District 6) says he wants to help teachers with controversial topics (essentially, science that he doesn’t like) but really it’s just an anti-science bill.
Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education has a fantastic post on why this is a bad bill. They call it a “sham” and point out that “no teacher group or scientific organization supports this bill“. In a nutshell, the OESE says this about the proposed bill, “In effect this bill would encourage students to simply reject parts of science they don’t happen to like. This will clearly confuse our students about the nature of science, inhibit their ability to understand important scientific issues facing society, and reduce their competitiveness for science related jobs.” Very well said.
The OESE will be tracking this bill as it makes its way through the legislature. They say the best way to stop it is by contacting the committee members where the bill will first be heard. Once those names are announced the OESE will post their names and contact information on their website.
This is super-duper important. Our state cannot afford to have bills like this become law.
The White House Office of Science & Technology Policy has announced a plan to increase climate education.
The administration reports it had more than 150 projects or ideas submitted to it as ways to improve climate education. As a result, the OSTP has a launched a number of new programs aimed at raising awareness about our ever-changing climate. They include more resources for National Park Service employees, training for executive leaders in Federal agencies, and workshops for educators.
Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education is already doing the latter. In September, it hosted a workshop for secondary school teachers to learn about climate change, as well as some of the laws impacting how they teach it. The workshop was the focus of one of my first posts on this blog and included a short video from the workshop.
I’m sure Senator Inhofe will have a problem with this but I’m glad to see the administration taking steps to educate its employees and school kids about the science of climate change.
I have previously written about Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education but I wanted to post a little more. Click the video below to hear from Dr. Victor Hutchison. He’s a past-president of the OESE and the George Lynn Cross Research Professor Emeritus in the Department of Zoology at the University of Oklahoma.
He talks about OESE’s mission and why it was originally formed. The main goal, he says, is to protect teachers and students from lawmakers and lobbyists who try to suppress scientific knowledge. Dr. Hutchison says, “We hate to see the anti-science movement because it really prevents our students from getting the proper education in today’s competitive world.”
Apparently science education in Oklahoma is not very good. News On 6 in Tulsa reports that most schools in the eastern part of the state were given D’s and F’s for science education. The article doesn’t address why science education is so poor other than to say the teachers are learning a new way to teach science, a more hands-on approach.
What do you think? How do you feel about your child’s science education? One goal of this blog is to see how scientists feel about the state of science education in Oklahoma. We’ll talk to scientists and researchers for their opinions but I want to know yours. Send me an email to scienceisok (at) outlook (dot) com.
If you can spare $10 here’s a great way to support science education in Oklahoma. Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education promotes and protects science education in our public schools. They also sponsor continuing education for our science teachers. I can’t think of a better way to support science in Oklahoma.