Rather than write about a single article I have found to be interesting, today I will point out a few that have recently caught my attention.
The first is this one from The Independent. The article centres around a UK programme called Enterprising Science that seeks to engage more students in STEM subjects but what I like most about it are some of the comments embedded within the text, like the one about introducing children to mechanical toys at a young age. No iPad app can substitute for trying to build a device and then repeatedly failing, revising, and improvising until you finally get it to work. My own view is that such experiences are most educational when done in an unstructured way, with no supervision from teachers or parents. Another good point was made when the author quoted Professor Evelyn Welch saying “You’re much more likely to see yourself as a scientist, particularly as a young girl, if you know a scientist. A human being who you can actually poke and say ‘this could be me'”.
The second article I must mention is this blog post by Scott H. Young. The title “How to Learn Boring Subjects” says it all. Obviously I think the subjects I tutor, pre-calculus, calculus, finite mathematics, physics, chemistry, and coding are fascinating but not all of my students share that view. There is no magic solution to this obstacle but Scott’s advice is as good as can be found anywhere.
The last article I would like to mention is this
one from The Planetary Society because the mechanics of getting a spacecraft from one planet to another is my favourite example for discussing energy, momentum, impulse, and gravity when helping students with physics.