Student opinion: How to make boring science lessons more interesting

Science is often taught in a boring way at schools. Wade High 2017 Dux Alice Hutchinson offers her ideas on how to spice it up

Author Bill Bryson once admitted that he “grew up convinced science was supremely dull, but suspecting that it needn’t be.”

I fear many of us have felt the same way.

The magic embedded into scientific ideas is often left out when science is taught in schools. 

Gravity is taught as an equation and a definition, all it’s wonder left behind. The excitement is lost from the idea and students are hard-pressed to keep interest.

So what are we missing?

I discovered science in an exciting new light when I read a book by physicist Richard Feynman.

His enigmatic character and curious nature drew me in, hooking me on “the pleasure of finding things out”.

Feynman saw science as a “great adventure”, a way for people to fuel their curiosity and explore the world.

“How remarkable it is for us all to be stuck – half of us upside down – by a mysterious attraction to a spinning ball that has been swinging in space for billions of years,” he once wrote. 

Feynman’s words reveal a thrilling side of science that we rarely consider. It is this that our schools are missing.

So how can we convey the thrill of science in our schools?

Scientists and engineers should play a role. Occasional lectures from these members of our community would be the perfect way to teach science beyond the definitions and equations and inspire our students.

Teachers too are vital. The best teachers are those that are driven by the delight of their subject and that express their passion in their lessons. Teachers should use their own experiences in the field of science to teach new concepts.

Connecting these to real life examples and scenarios can go a long way in helping students.

As a recent graduate of a local high school I call upon the teachers, scientists, engineers and businesses of our community to consider this idea.

The Griffith and Wade High School merge in 2019 is remarkable opportunity to boost science in our community. Let Griffith be a rural leader in science education, fully taking on board the promotion of STEM fields in our schools.

I am now sure science is not supremely dull.  There is infinitely more to science than memorising the equation for gravity.

I’ve learned that science is about curiosity and adventure, a language for the remarkable ideas of eternally spinning balls swinging in space. Let’s make sure that future generations of Griffith students learn that too.