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Aimee SternRSS Feed of this column.

Aimee is a 20 year veteran of the marketing communications, journalism and education fields. She excels at transforming scientific and technical information into concise messages, articles and written... Read More »

The USA Science&Engineering Festival ended on Sunday October 24th, after six months of working us all 24/7. But it was worth it. We had more than 500,000 people come through and on the lawn of the National Mall on Sunday I overheard a parent telling her five year-old, "Yes we can stay all day. And you can see all the robots."

Kind of like a science Disneyland, minus the bored actors and plus hundreds of college students and grown-ups explaining why planes fly, why NASCAR goes at such fast speeds, hands buried deep in green goo that represented something scientific. I just thought the shade of bright green was cool.
Finally, we have a President who not only believes in science but wants to improve science education. After eight years of the science isn't conclusive, evolution didn't happen and scientists afraid to speak out about their research, President Obama is a breath of fresh air. He's even having the first White House Science Fair tomorrow to honor kids who've won an array of national science competitions.

But what I worry about is although this administration came in with the best of intentions towards improving science education, it inherited such an incredible economic and other kinds of mess, it's almost impossible to make science an immediate priority.
Science comedian Brian Malow ties much of science to growing up in a happily dysfunctional family. He asks:

What if the driving force behind the evolutionary patterns of homo erectus was moms telling their kids to “Stand Up Straight?”

Once when I was 10, he tells us, I asked my dad why the sky was blue. He said go ask your mom. She said, “Because I said so.” I never asked her a science question again. 

Thought I'd weigh in on the is "Is Science a Form of Dance" discussion by turning it on its head. Dance may well be a form of art as well as science - but what about the scientists themselves? Can they express their work through the art form of dance?

My son thinks science is cool. He loves biology.  My daughter used to like science, now she says she hates it - she hates math too. She's just started middle school. That's the age when girls walk away from science - or at least the research tells us they do.

I've been trying to figure out why my daughter - who spent the last five years in a science and math magnet - now isn't interested in either subject.
I'm in the process of developing a lesson plan on distracted driving for high school teachers. AAAS intends to put it up on its teacher web site, Science NetLinks. There are a handful of studies available, but shouldn't this be a major science and education policy issue? Is there no research funding  behind why texting while driving is a deadly combination?

A recent Pew Research Center survey found that one-fourth of adolescents age 16 or 17 report having texted while driving, and nearly 50% of teenagers report having been in a car while the driver was texting. That's probably a conservative estimate.