Distance Learning Firefigher Degrees – Online Fire Science Education

Distance learning or online college classes for a degree in fire science is making it easier for firefighters to obtain entry-level and advanced degrees in fire science. As the fire service progresses and becomes more science based, many departments are requiring additional education and degrees for promotion of firefighters.

An online fire science degree is ideally suited for the professional firefighter who wishes to be promoted into officer positions. Because of a firefighters typical work schedule, it is difficult for the potential student to attend a traditional or campus based college or university. Geographical location is also a road block to obtaining a formal degree in fire science. If the fire house has computer access or wireless capabilities, the firefighter can get and complete assignments online during down time at work.

Depending on the level of degree the student is seeking, classes will include fire behavior, fire suppression, incident command, fire prevention, fire inspection, fire investigation, public safety, hazardous material operations and command, personnel management and other general classes.

An online or distance learning college degree website can provide the student with specific information about schools, fire related classes and specialities that are available. Information about financial aid, requirements, tuition costs, and college support services will be available. Usually an advisor is accessible for further questions.

Promotion up the career ladder will more and more be influenced by the education level of the officer candidate. The forward thinking firefighter can take advantage of this by obtaining an advanced degree in fire science through a distance learning program.

Dinosaur Expert – Anti-Creationists Are The Greatest Enemy Of Science Education In The US

Science education has lately been the source of much heated debate, largely due to the film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed featuring Ben Stein. Stein’s documentary lamented the monopoly of Darwinian evolution in scientific research and science education. As expected, many prominent neo-Darwinists, for instance Richard Dawkins and P. Z. Myers, have reacted aggressively to the film. Recently, a renowned paleontologist joined the fray. However, his contribution was a stunning surprise.

Dr. Robert T. Bakker is one of most famous living dinosaur experts, known for his 1986 book The Dinosaur Heresies. He is the Curator of paleontology at the Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Director of the Morrison Natural History Museum in Colorado. Recently Bakker was interviewed on the Laelaps Science Blog by Brian Switek.

During the e-mail interview, Bakker said that he considered “the loud, strident, elitist anti-creationists” to be be greatest enemy of science education in the United States. He explained that he meant “Richard Dawkins and his colleagues”, calling them “uber-Darwinists”. In his view, they “come across as insultingly dismissive of any and all religious traditions.”

Bakker probably had in mind Dawkins’ book The God Delusion that has caused quite a stir. It has also given rise to rebuttals such as David Berlinski’s just released The Devil’s Delusion.

The Bakker interview was made before the April 18 release of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. Bakker’s views are interesting since he is neither a creationist, at least not in the traditional sense of the word, nor affiliated with the Intelligence Design movement. He seems to advocate some form of theistic evolution or the view that God used evolution. Yet he comes close to what Ben Stein, a Jew, has to say about science education.

It is no secret that origins issues are extremely sensitive. Bakker’s contribution has already caused some discussion in the blogosphere.

$250 Million Effort Illustrates Need For Better Science Education

Recently, the President announced several new public-private collaborations that would make investments of more than $250 million to help train more than 10,000 new math and science instructors and provide additional training to more than 100,000 existing teachers. There is a determined push to employ teachers who can assertively and enthusiastically educate in the area of science.

“Passionate educators with deep content expertise can make all the difference,” President Obama stated in a prepared speech, “enabling hands-on learning that truly engages students — including girls and underrepresented minorities — and preparing them to tackle the ‘grand challenges’ of the 21st century such as increasing energy independence, improving people’s health, protecting the environment and strengthening national security.”

American students’ rankings in science continue to plummet compared to various other nations, which does not bode well for our ability to innovate and compete in the future. All of this points out that our educational institutions are still failing to properly educate kids in the science and math they will need to be successful in their adult professions. There is a need to use engaging science materials at an early age, particularly for those who educate privately or at home.

The administration’s crusade is called “Educate to Innovate” and is pursuing numerous avenues to increase U.S. students’ rank in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. (See the full White House press release for information on how colleges and private companies are working on the issue.)

Home schoolers and private educators of all backgrounds must feel confident in being able to present science lessons and make them exciting for the student – just like the national effort to train professional teachers. What about President Obama singling out the need to engage girls? Here’s just one sign that points out that problem: Barely 17% of undergraduate engineering degrees are awarded to women.