???Science is about investigation and conducting research with a view to developing a product or making life easier for us,??? says Chief Education Officer, Laurie King.
Addressing students and their teachers at the second annual Edu-Nation forum today in the Queen???s Park Steel Shed, Mr. King said: ???Science is all around. It is because of science that you have motor cars, technologies like iPad and cellphones which sometimes make us wonder what we would do without them.???
As he cited some early scientific work such as the wheel which was discovered by the Aztecs and now propels bicycles, cars, airplanes; and ink which allowed for writing to take place, Mr. King pointed out that there was a shortage of scientists in our society and urged students to pursue careers in the Sciences, particularly teaching.
???You are the future scientists, you are the ones who are going to conduct the investigations, the research, keep us on the forefront,??? he said, adding that today???s graduates of Mathematics were not pursuing Pure Mathematics but allied fields like Management and many were not coming back to teach.
Students were also advised to reflect on their knowledge of the Sciences in their everyday lives: ???The Science will help you to understand the way the world functions; the way things are related as you go forward??? the products of science manifest themselves in the form of different technologies. Those technologies are as a result of your innovative approaches and your ability to create things,??? said the education official.
Deputy Chief Education Officer, Dr. Patricia Saul, in supporting Mr. King pointed out that it was well known that Science and Technology had a profound impact on how we live.
She stressed: ???As technology continues to evolve, individuals will have to adapt to better meet the needs of a digital age. Furthermore, the digital age in which we live is calling for a new set of life skills ??? the foundation for which must be laid in the classroom. Therefore, in Science classes especially, it is critical that students get the opportunity to engage in innovative and creative activities.
???Students also need to be exposed to experiences which require them to question, experiment and to think in new and novel ways.
The days of the teacher being the sage on the stage are long over???We need teachers who are cognisant of the fact that knowledge is now widely accessible and their role has new changes as facilitator of learning.???
Giving the rationale for the theme for Edu-Nation, Dr. Saul explained, ???Students need to be prepared to live in a world in which they will be required to function independently. Consequently, being able to engage in inquiry, innovation and creativity within the school setting is particularly important for our students, both now and in the future.???
The Edu-Nation discussion, which forms part of the activities for Education Month, targeted fifth and sixth formers as well as tertiary level students. It was held under the theme: Science, Technology and Innovation: Today???s Classroom- Tomorrow???s Citizen.