DID YOU KNOW?
38.89% of Birmingham City School children in the fifth grade did not meet basic science standards according to the 2009/2010 Alabama Science Assessment Exam. 43.24% of the 7th grade students did not meet the basic standards. This compared to the 22.64% of all Alabama 5th graders that did not meet the basic science standards and 31.21% of all Alabama 7th graders. Alabama as a state still lags behind most all other states with regards to science test scores. In Alabama, only about 60% of students that begin the ninth grade finish high school—compared to an approximately 75% completion average for the country. Educational achievement is especially challenging among our lower income and minority students.
So how do we inspire a love of life-long learning for all children in our community and our state? At McWane Science Center we believe that we have to make education, specifically science education, relevant to all children. We have to show children that it is within their range of possibilities to become future doctors, researchers, inventers, innovators, scientists, engineers and leaders. This is extremely important for those children that grow up in disadvantaged households that do not have points of reference from which they can model their futures.
At McWane, we make our programs electrifying, magnetic and inspirational. We turn students into scientists. Great science learning involves inquisition. Kids have to touch it, hear it, breathe it and live it. Here, students are not learning through lecture. They are learning by doing, asking questions, creating their own hypothesis, testing and then starting all over again. They are actively engaged in their own learning process, and as a result they gain the skills and the confidence to achieve success in science-related study. We want to greatly increase science literacy in this state, and with your support, we will continue to:
• Engage children in advanced science and inquiry-based learning opportunities.
• Help create a science literate citizenry that encompasses children from all socioeconomic levels, races, ethnicities, and religions.
• Challenge children to excel academically—especially in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math.
• Utilizing unique science education exhibits and hands-on experiments and programs, inspire youth to pursue continued education and career opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.