I often get asked by students, "When am I ever going to USE this in real life?"... or... "Why do we have to learn this stuff? I'm not going to be a scientist."
I will now answer these questions:
"When am I ever going to USE this in real life?"
Science IS LIFE (and no I'm not just saying that because I'm biased)...any discipline in science whether it's biology, seismology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, meteorology, volcanology, or petrology uses CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS. Critical thinking skills ARE used in everyday life. You make decisions everyday...some are "simple" some are "tough"...but if you have the ability to think critically about your decision (and it's consequences) you will most often make the correct decision. Science also teaches us RESPONSIBILITY & ACCOUNTABILITY. Scientists have to produce accurate results - they are accountable for analyzing their experiments correctly to convey their findings- whether they are finding a cure for cancer, or researching how African ants mate (and there are scientists that get paid to do those things!). In life after high school, you will need to be responsible at your job, and even in your home (eventually your parents/gaurdians WILL want you to move out and get your own place!!!). Accountability is also part of life- you will be asked by others to complete certain tasks and in order to do that sucessfully you will have to "own up" to what is required to complete those tasks. Life is pretty tough after high school...but it's not impossible... hey if I can do it - ANYBODY can!!!
"Why do we have to know this stuff? I'm not going to be a scientist!"
Do you have to know how the mitochondria works in a cell in order to become a productive member of society?... No. Do you have to know what makes an endangered animal endangered to become a productive member of society?...No. Do you have know the atomic number of potassium to become a productive member of society?... No.
When I assign a project on say, the origin of the cell, or endangered animals, or elements of the periodic table it is not to teach you some useless information (because NO INFORMATION IS USELESS)...it is to teach you this:
1. Time Scheduling
***This includes using in-class time TO YOUR ADVANTAGE by staying on task and budgeting time so you finish the project when it is due.***
***By turning the project in ON THE DUE DATE. If not - consequences will be enforced.***
***By doing the very best job that you can, you show that the infomation you obtained is accurate and your task of completing the project was successful.***
4. Critical Thinking Skills
***Being able to communicate effectively and process information accurately is an important part of life after high school, whether it takes place with words, actions or on paper.***
So you see, I am NOT torturing you with pointless junk that you'll never need to know. I try my very best to teach you responsibility, accountability and critical thinking skills so when you get into "the real world" you'll have the skills you need to be a productive member of society - and I do that by teaching you science!