DCHAS members may be interested in this PBS story on the risks of home chemistry... FIWI, I can't say my childhood chemistry set experience was either "fun" or "educational". - Ralph http://www.pbs.org/kcet/wiredscience/story/8-Dangerous+Science.html In Search of an Old-Fashioned Chemistry Experience FIFTY YEARS AGO, YOU'D BE HARD-PRESSED to find an American family without a chemistry set lurking somewhere in the house. It was one of those rare toys that was both fun and educational, helping kids equate science with excitement—after all, building an exploding volcano in the living room never gets old. But say "chemistry set" to a kid today and you're likely to get a blank stare or a snicker in response. While the sets still technically exist, they rarely contain any real "chemicals," thanks to safety and liability fears; they also characterize scientists as crazy and eccentric rather than respectable and intelligent. This may be fueling kids’ declining interest in science, as evidenced by the fact that the percentage of students pursuing college chemistry degrees today is down by two-thirds since the 1960s. Could the disappearance of the old chemistry sets be somewhat to blame? A lot of scientists say yes. Join host Adam Rogers as he mourns the disappearance of the ubiquitous home chemistry set, explores the decline of America's science climate, and contaminates himself with radioactive uranium. Check out our sidebar story and discover what some long-distance learning teachers are doing to combat the problem using little more than a penny and a head of cabbage.
Previous post | Top of Page | Next post