There’s More to Science Education Than Just Teaching Science

Most secondary schools hire teachers for a specific subject area and schedule the subjects to be taught independently of each other. As a result of this fragmentation, students often miss the importance of applying what they learn in one class to what they learn in their other classes. In the teaching of science, communication and math skills should be incorporated into the curriculum; but not every science teacher does that. However, as a home schooling parent, you have a golden opportunity to give your child the interdisciplinary education that is necessary for future success while he or she is learning science.

One of the most frustrating things I encountered while teaching high school was student resistance to using proper grammar, or even full sentences, while writing their lab reports or doing homework. The protest “This is science, not English” would always get my blood boiling. How could they not understand that the results they got on their science experiments would be useless unless they could properly communicate them to others?

The same holds true for inaccurate math work. Many scientific conclusions are based on data that are summarized mathematically or in graph form. If the math work is performed incorrectly, or if the results are not displayed in the proper graphical format, the results are meaningless. Even so, many students will claim “foul” when the teacher corrects their math in a science class. After all, “That’s a different subject, isn’t it?”

It is not only students who have been trained to think of school subjects as separate from one another. My associate, Dr. Jan Pechenik of Tufts University, has even experienced resistance among science educators to being responsible for teaching the math or language skills that help students to better communicate “scientifically.” At a workshop he was invited to run a few years ago, entitled “Interdisciplinary Teaching,” he had teachers run a simple experiment to generate some data, and then talked about how to work with those data. There was an immediate objection from several of the teachers, who said very proudly, “That’s Math. I don’t teach Math. I’d have to bring in a math teacher to cover that in my class.” Jan had asked them to add 6 numbers and divide by 6, to calculate an average.

Later in the workshop Jan talked with the teachers about the importance of teaching students to write clear and complete figure captions. Again there were objections from a number of teachers: “That’s English. I don’t teach English. I’d have to bring in someone from the English Department to cover that in my class.”

When students earn credit for science work that has math errors or is written with poor grammar, they are being cheated out of developing the proper habits they will need in their college work and future careers. Communicating their ideas clearly is vital if they ever hope to have a paper published, win grant money, make a presentation at a conference or just earn credit for their work when they get to college. Even non scientific careers require clear communication of ideas and accurate reporting from professionals employed in the field. Science “class” is the ideal place to help students develop these skills. Besides, writing a clear and convincing job application is often the key to getting a good job in the first place

Moreover, thinking about the writing helps students think more carefully about the content they are writing about. Writing a good figure caption after doing an experiment, for example, forces students to think more carefully about what they did, and why they did it.

As a home schooling parent, you need to constantly reinforce language and math skills while doing science work with your child:

  • Require that every piece of written work be in full sentences using proper grammar.
  • Expect your child to write as often as possible and correct any mistakes
  • Rather than having your child answer 10 or so short answer questions from the text, have him or her incorporate the questions and answers into a few paragraphs of well written ideas.
  • Preparing a written synopsis of the text chapter, or section of a chapter will not only reinforce writing skills but also improve retention of the material
  • Lab reports should follow the proper format with a clearly written abstract and summary in addition to all the other required pieces
  • Be sure all math work is accurate and that results are displayed in the proper graph or chart format.
  • Never accept the comment “Why are you correcting my writing and math? I thought we were doing science.” Instead, explain why what you are doing is so important. Writing, calculating, and graphing are all part of doing science.

By taking these steps while teaching science, you will be preparing your child for future success in any endeavor that he or she pursues.

Food Science Educational Training Opportunities Online

Food preparation and nutritional value is extremely important to lead a healthy lifestyle. Students can pursue education in several areas to understand the properties of food and diet. Online accredited schools provide students with many food science educational training opportunities.

Undergraduate to graduate study can be pursued online to enter careers as food engineers, food product consultants, dietitians, and nutritionists. Training can be entered in several areas related to food science.

*Educational Opportunity One: Earn a Food Science Degree

This field explores many disciplines to prepare students to work with and process food. Engineering, math, and science make up the overall focal point of education. Online training has students studying the ingredients and substances of food in order to learn how to correctly conserve, process, protect, and distribute it. The nutritional value in connection to additives and the shelf life, which helps professionals constantly update procedures, are other areas explored. Some courses that may be taken online include:

  • Microbiology
  • Food Safety
  • Food Chemistry

Schooling provides students with the understanding of how food can be managed, developed, and manufactured for distribution. Various careers are available for students that complete an online training program.

*Educational Opportunity Two: Complete a Dietician Degree Program

The benefits of food are studied in connection with health and nutrition. Online study examines nutrition in regards to diet and how that can be used to prepare food. Students are trained to assess the needs of a client or group of people and create a general dietary plan for them based on their physical health and age. The required knowledge of food and its nutritional value are learned so students can step into careers where they can make professional opinions and work with their clients on improving their eating habits. Online courses may include:

  • Menu Planning
  • Community Health
  • Weight Management

For a career as a registered dietician students will need to complete a bachelor’s degree program. Certificate and associates degree programs are available to prepare students for entry-level positions working with dieticians.

*Educational Opportunity Three: Enroll in a Nutrition Degree Program

Nutritionists complete much of the same coursework as dieticians but work to help their clients understand their food choices and how that affects their health. Students learn to understand different health care issues like heart disease and diabetes to help guide their clients nutrition and fitness. Advanced training covers developmental nutrition and public health. Common courses in an online degree program may include:

  • Anatomy
  • Nutritional Chemistry
  • Fitness Nutrition

Studying to become a nutritionist will leave students with numerous job options. Nutrition counselor, food inspector, food service director, and nutritionist are some career possibilities.

Students can step into a career in food science by first deciding on what career or educational path they would like to take. Once this is established accredited online training can begin. Accreditation is provided by agencies like the American Dietetic Association Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education ( http://www.eatright.org/cade/ ) to schools and colleges that offer the quality education needed to succeed.

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at PETAP.org.

Copyright 2010 – All rights reserved by PETAP.org.

Life Science Education Using More Advanced Tools

For most students there are few courses more exciting than those that deal with life science education. The study of life as we know it is a dynamic and intensely detailed experience and has immediate application to all walks of life. It’s one thing to study math and then notice similarities in your day to day patterns but it’s quite another thing to study life science and then realize the cellular structure that your memorizing is actually one that is in your own body.

As such it’s important to make sure you’re on track when you’re learning life science. One of the best ways to learn is to simply purchase one of the many learning courses available for computer use. There are a number to pick from but it’s worth checking them out a bit so you make sure that you’re getting the type of life science education that you learn best from and that way you’ll actually use the course and learn from it.

The first thing to notice is whether or not the technical specifications fit your computer. Make sure that the course is compatible with your operating system so that you don’t wind up paying for something you can’t use. A lot of the courses these days are available via the internet and while that is handy it’s less reliable than simply owning the course yourself and using it whenever you want regardless of the state of your internet connection.

Once you have the tech handled, notice if the course teaches in a way that compliments your learning style. If you like organized learning and regular feedback then pick a course with definite sections and regular testing procedures. If you’re less structured then pick one with a more encyclopedia type approach that will allow you to pick and choose the area you want to learn that day.

Once you’ve selected your course in life science education it’s up to you to use it. Few things are as disciplined as self learning and it is no easy feat to make sure you’re spending time regularly learning new things. There are so many other tempting ways to spend your time. But stick with it and apply yourself and you’ll be amazed at how quickly the mysteries and wonders of life science become part of your everyday life.