Making Science Fun. Now What?
Our guest this week is Todd L. Pittinsky, professor in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Stony Brook University. Todd and Nicole Diamante (a doctoral candidate in engineering at Stony Brook) recently wrote an article that caught our eyes. In “Going Beyond Fun in STEM,” (Phi Delta Kappan) Pittinsky and Diamante suggest that perhaps after the Mentos geyser demonstration, science teachers might only get “a bottle of flat Pepsi and too many students who still arrive at college academically unprepared for STEM majors or — perhaps more important — emotionally unprepared to stick it out when the subjects inevitably get tough.” Todd joins us to remind us that fun isn’t enough in science, and suggests what intrinsic and extrinsic motivations are actually needed to get students more interested in math and science, and ultimately succeed in these fields.
Download the article free from Phi Delta Kappan: Going Beyond Fun in STEM
Quotes from the Article:
What’s left after the Mento geyser? A bottle of flat Pepsi and too many students who still arrive at college academically unprepared for STEM majors or — perhaps more important — emotionally unprepared to stick it out when the subjects inevitably get tough. (Pittinsky and Diamante, p. 48)
Instead of continuing down the fun STEM path, K-12 educators may need to focus less exclusively on intrinsic motivators such as fun and expand to more extrinsic motivators. (Pittinsky and Diamante, p. 51)
It is naïve and disingenuous to have this extrinsicmotivation pushing STEM as a national priority, but then count on young people to carry it out in the expectation that it will be great fun. (Pittinsky and Diamante, p. 51)
Connect with our guests:
- Contact Todd Pittinsky: firstname.lastname@example.org
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