How do we inspire young people to get into science? While its importance increases permanently, the popularity of science is still low. Mainly, due to the unawareness, young people do not know about the career opportunities in science. Science still has that geeky image that appeals to nerds most of the time. The societal role of science is immense as it provides answers to question we raise all the time. Every little invention, every great product we use, goes back to scientific discoveries. And on top of that, the trend clearly shows that people are going to work together in an interdisciplinary way. And that is where school could mirror the labor market in terms of bringing together various school subjects.
Interdisciplinary approaches are key
To fully understand the important role of science in our society, we need to be aware of the disciplines it effects. And the answer there is easy: Every discipline is effected by science one way or the other. Also, science has the potential of solving most problems our society is going to face in the future. Be it the global warming by inventing energy efficient technologies and perfecting the individual electro mobility. Or, be it new developments in medicine that are going to improve our quality of life. The effect science has on our society is sustainable. Also, in companies teams of employees are going to consist of members of different professional backgrounds in order to come up with better solutions.
Subject vs. topic in school
In school, the student-centered approach of teaching establishes new ways of co-operation between teachers of different school subject. Trying to figure out how groups of students are going to tackle various topics, approaches from different school subjects can be brought into class. That way, the same challenge can be approached from different sides which should help to get a better understanding. To my mind, the topic-based school shows more promise than the traditional subject-based school. It can be more engaging, offering a better interdisciplinary understanding and be closer to reality.
Change can only be realized by teachers
How do we get there? Waiting on politics to provide change is a long-term project, to put it nicely. The key would be small co-operations between teachers in order to join forces. And there are a lot combinations that make a lot of sense. Maths and physics, biology and chemistry or political science and history for instance. These combinations provoke curiosity among the students and open up a deeper field of research in class. Different questions are going to be posed during that process. It is that scientific approach of working that creates interest by taking away the geek. If students are aware of the societal impact of science, the interest in that field is inevitably going to increase …