I recently talked with a local high school principal; I asked what Astronomy was being covered at the school, and was told “nothing.” I was told that Astronomy was usually an elective, or after-school club – IF you could find a teacher willing to teach it.
At Detcon1‘s “Anti-Science Sentiment in the USA” panel, it was brought up that we need to “teach the teachers the science behind what they are teaching, so that they understand it, and can teach it better themselves.” This pretty much mirrors my wife’s comments in this article.
When I give my Sun presentation, and show Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) images and videos to students from 3rd thru 12th grades, it always gets a “Woah!” and a “Cool!” – but never once has any student told me that they’ve seen this in school.
I want to fix that.
(I will gleefully update this post when the first student tells me that they’ve seen an SDO video in their school – and I wasn’t the one to show it to them.)