• Amy Peach

If there's no mud involved, it's probably not science

I love scientists. Not the stiff guys in lab coats in front of the mic after a big medical breakthrough. You know... the ones who explain an important discovery (as though it were all their own) with just enough highbrow that you begin to wonder if your IQ is high enough even to be watching the local news right now? Yeah, you know the ones.

No, I'm talking about scientists. You may or may not recognize them at parties, but when you were a kid, you definitely knew them. They were usually covered in mud from digging up worms and testing the effects of direct sunlight vs. shade on their mobility. Actually, not much has changed. Their endless curiosity about the world and our place in it drives many of our species' advancements. And they won't hesitate to duck out of that party and catch whatever they can of the Lyrids meteor shower.

They are critical everywhere, but they are especially prevalent in St. Louis. If you haven't noticed, their effects are everywhere from major university research initiatives to new programs at the Zoo. And as the baby boomers continue leaving the workforce, we need to replenish that labor with our own budding scientists.

So why are they still doing worksheets in school?

Worksheets can be helpful when synthesizing ideas but I think we can all agree they've become the eternal crutch of the exhausted educator. Enter MySci!

I had the privilege of chatting with Dr. Rebecca Ruggirello and Jeanne Norris of Wash U's

Institute for School Partnership They shared an amazing initiative to help teachers wean themselves off the old drill and kill and move into more exciting hands-on work with young scientists. The MySci program ships kits to participating schools, which can be easily integrated with very little effort (think Blue Apron for the science classroom). Their reach extends across the entire region so odds are you can sign up anytime!

I learned so much in our chat and I know you will too! Rebecca and Jeanne share some of their favorite kits on the show so be sure to check it out in Episode 3 of Rotten Apples!

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