Your Best and Worst Memories of Science Class

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Physics class at Bronx High School of Science, 1944. (Museum of the City of New York)

On today's show, we're looking at some new science guidelines to help improve the teaching of science — and to reduce the intimidation factor, though many Takeaway listeners weren't exactly intimidated by their science classroom experiences. We asked for your memories, good and bad, of science class and got stories about flirty classmates, burning desks, and much more.

Produced by:

Megan Quellhorst and Mythili Rao

Comments [7]

Angel from Miami, FL

When I was in 7th grade we had a science teacher who would remove his sports jacket and put on a lab coat at the start of every class. He would go from writing down concepts and theories and laws on the chalkboard to illustrating the same from behind a lab table.

Apparently, my story interested my mom so much that she went to see him on one of those parent-teacher nights. When they met she thought he was mister wizard. Correction: she thought he was THE Mr. Wizard. She thought his day job was teaching her kid about science.

When we got cable TV I realized why she would think that. The similarity was uncanny.

Apr. 18 2013 10:16 AM
Dr Jack Dempsey from Quincy MA

Hello John and The Take Away---

I go back with JH to the great old hipsters' night show "HEAT," so I think John might like to know who is actually America's First Poet in English, and about a colorful Boston event that celebrates him.

On Saturday May 11th (11am-2pm), Revels 386 will honor Thomas Morton of Merrymount. Morton (a witty, educated outdoorsman) first settled on Mass. Bay in 1624 and raised an old-English Maypole there to celebrate his extraordinary relations with Native Americans. In the process, he nailed up a poem and drinking-song that envisioned a frontier very different from the Pilgrims' of Plimoth.

Morton's adventures and achievements got him burned and hoisted out of the country, but he just kept coming back because to him New England was "paradise." And his own book about it---"New English Canaan"---placed him also among America's first ethnologists, natural historians and wickedly-satirical writers in prose and verse.

So with Revels 386 on May 11th, citizens and Native people will gather at Maypole Hill in Quincy (near the shore of Wollaston Beach) with Morris Dancers, Native Drum, poetry, performances and traditional "solemn foolery" to honor this positive legacy. Each year the city of Quincy does more to recognize Morton, and we'd love to have The Take Away be part of it!

This is something Americans want to and should know about, and we hope you can find a bit of time to share its story with them. Much more info available at ANCIENT LIGHTS dot org.

Dr. Jack Dempsey
781 438 3042

DIRECTIONS: Route 3A South along Wollaston Beach. Where the beach ends, go left onto Furnace Brook Parkway; then, left onto Maypole Road---and you can't miss it!

Apr. 12 2013 11:59 AM

Oops. You're last caller was correct John. Avagadro's number is indeed 6.022 E 23 and it relates NOT to biology but chemisty. It's the number of molecules or atoms in a 'mole'. A mole is a unit of measurement much like a 'dozen'. So a dozen molecules is 12, whereas a mole is 6.022E23. From a practical sense (LOL) it's the number of molecules in 22.4 liters, at 1 atm pressure and 0 C.

Apr. 10 2013 04:04 PM
Julian from Dallas Texas

My 1982 10th grade computer science teacher, Mr Samson in Miami Florida, allowing me to stay after school every day to use the new computer lab. 28 years in a long lasting career, I now work for IBM. Thank you Mr. Samson.

Apr. 10 2013 12:45 PM
Flynn from Dallas, TX

My science teacher in high school, Mrs. Copeland, gave her every weekend and afternoon after class to show us chemistry concepts, take us to Adopt-a-stream and science fairs. I'm going for my M.S. now, and I wish I could tell her how much of an impact her constant encouragement made to me. Thanks for helping me love science, Mrs. C!

Apr. 10 2013 12:39 PM
Courtney from Orlando, FL

Science classes need application! Students should learn theories and basics and then should create projects that apply what has been learned, so that they can understand the real-world applications of these complex theories.

Apr. 10 2013 12:23 PM
Marianne Kenny from Berlin, Mass

One of my favorite science-experiment memories was in fifth grade; each student had to bring in a slice of bread. We cut it into quarters, and treated each one differently: we rubbed our hands all over one, coughed on one, swiped one across the floor, and left the last one untreated. We labeled them all and then watched the different types of mold growth over the following week. It was both gross and fascinating -- perfect for fifth graders.

Apr. 10 2013 11:40 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.