Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home

First Grader Wants Real Science

NOTE: Roger Schank posted a link to the Science Saga Continues on twitter, but I thought the reader might like to know a little more about his grandson Milo. It certainly reveals why a better science curriculum is important and necessary.

Dear Milo,

Here's the list of careers you enumerated today while we were walking home from the subway:

- author
- illustrator
- chemist
- inventor
- tap dancer

By the time we reached home you'd taken illustrator off the list after I pointed out that you're not actually into drawing, and stated that the main thing you still want to be is an inventor anyway, the other stuff is more like a "maybe" whereas inventor is a definite. So far the only invention you've come up with is the pocket air conditioner, which frankly doesn't seem like it has a lot of potential, but what do I know.

We spent about two hours on the train today traveling to a doctor's appointment on the upper east side, during which time we covered the following topics:

- how the signs that tell you when the train is coming work

- why when two trains are traveling next to each other it looks like one train is running backwards

- the different routes one can take between Brooklyn and Manhattan

- theories on why oil and water don't mix

- the fact that you may be ready to take your first solo plane trip

- why it is fair that when you go to someone else's house and build with Legos they get to keep whatever it is you've built

- the shape of Colorado vs. the shape of Connecticut

- where Metro North runs

- why there are no sleeper cars on Metro North

- how to make hot chocolate

Most discussed at the top of your lungs during rush hour, prompting several knowing glances and "aw, isn't he cute," nods from your fellow passengers.


The Science Saga Continues

Milo: I wish they would teach real science in science class.

Me: What's real science?

Milo: Like chemistry, biology, dissection.

Me: What kind of science do they teach instead?

Milo: Paperwork.

— Roger Schank





This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.