Thank you for purchasing the 2015 first edition of the Scientist Trading Cards. Are these the most famous or best scientists? Are these the most acclaimed in their respective fields? The answer to both is probably no. But, our goal is to show children that there are millions of great people accomplishing and discovering great things. We believe you have made a wise and fun investment for your present and future.
We believe that science is a fascinating adventure of fantastic discoveries and imaginative investigation that affects us every day. Unfortunately, science is not viewed as a priority at a young age which means that a child’s natural curiosity can diminish, and over time they can lose interest. But, science is essential to understanding the complexities and opportunities of everyday life.
Our vision is to instill a very high level of enthusiasm and inquisitiveness about science and high technology. This will excite children to learn at any early age by opening their minds and increasing their interest to further learning in the future. This learning will only enhance and broaden each of their lives. Every day we try to offer a wonderful environment where children can build a science foundation that will open the doors to a lifetime of learning.
We are organized as a charitable non-profit and our mission is:
1. To increase the scientific and technological literacy of Pre-K – 12th grade students
2. To create an educational science center used by the general public and for the benefit of the public interest where the understanding of the value of science and the appreciation of the importance and promise of the methods of science in human progress can be taught
3. To improve and develop the science capabilities of children which will be beneficial to the entire community
4. To work closely with schools and other organizations in furthering the work of scientific applications and processes and to develop new goals with the evolving skill and knowledge requirements of the industry
5. To foster scientific freedom, exploration and responsibility
6. and, To provide services and programs for economically disadvantaged children so that they may also experience the same opportunities and offerings of the science center
This mission is our quest and after 18 years we have created a system that is working all over the world. We understand local curriculums very well and use the National and State Science Standards to effectively teach the material. We present everything in a very fun, humorous way so kids really enjoy what is being taught. We have now become the leaders in teaching hands-on science in the country.
What Is Science?
We typically don’t spend much time thinking about the world around us. We assume that we just know why things work or don’t work. We think we know why the sky is blue, or why magnets really work, or what creates global warming, or what the effects of human population are, or what the big bang theory is all about. But, in reality we are just too caught up in everyday life to take the time to keep learning about the world around us.
If we become parents we are lucky enough to have kids that are probably going to be curious about the world around them. They make up for our lack of curiosity. Science is about being curious and we accomplish this with questions and details. If you want to build something, if you want to solve a problem, if you want to find the best way to do something, ask detailed questions and your science training will help you with solutions.
Science is not about the finite or about absolute truths. This is where science gets misunderstood in its complexity and why most teachers feel uncomfortable with the subject. Most elementary school teachers think science is some forbidden world that is too unreachable or too unattainable. It’s not at all. We will never know more than one one-thousandth of what science is all about. We don’t have to have all the answers. Part of the exploration is the discovery for some of those answers. And, new discoveries can completely change our perception of the original answer. Scientists told us long ago that the earth was flat and that there were 9 planets. But, after continued research we found different results. Science is ever changing.
Science is more about possibilities and as current thought is involved, the probability. That’s really all it is. For example, we believe that life here on earth will continue for probably thousands if not millions of years. But, if new research indicates that an asteroid will hit earth next week, then our original answer would change.
Even though we work with over 1,000 children every week, we are still amazed at how little teachers prepare their students with science for the world around them. Science is very important. It helps us with processing information logically and helps us solve everyday problems. Does any other subject offer that to us? Of course science is big, bigger than any other topic by far, but the basics are not even being covered. And, why is it that kids get easy A’s in science when they can’t even answer the basic fundamentals of science. This is the only subject that you can get away with that.
We ask every group of students from kindergarten to grade 3 what they think the meaning of science is. We would love to tell you that we get hundreds of different responses but the reality is that we get only a few basic ones which include “learning stuff,” “blowing up stuff,” or “mixing potions.” We then explain that they are involved with science all day long but probably don’t realize it because science is learning about everything. Science is knowledge. It’s having fun, discovering, inventing, making mistakes, building, creating, exploring, living, traveling, communicating with people, trying to figure things out, and trying to solve problems. But, very few think of themselves as real scientists. The majority of children feel that it would be easier to be a professional singer or athlete than a scientist.
We also ask them to name different types of scientists. If you asked children whether a carpenter, rancher or fisherman were scientists most would say no. They never think outside the lab coat box – never. They think of Einstein, and Bill Nye in funny glasses and lab coats and think that they will never be as smart as them. We try to show them the enormous amount of science happening all around us and that millions of people are involved in wonderful careers. They are amazed at the wide variety of opportunities. There is a huge spectrum of careers that are fun and exciting. And, what other fields can you actually inspire so many others for the good of all mankind? Science careers can.
Learning the process of science exploration allows a person a unique set of skills that can’t be found with other courses. Think of the skills that you attain from history, geography, English or a foreign language and then compare them to the science skills. You’ll see that there are more useful skills in learning science than in all the other topics combined. These skills can be divided into three major areas: Science Process, Critical Thinking and Scientific Reasoning. Here is a closer look at just some of the skills that children can achieve during the scientific process: