High schools in the United States are producing far fewer science oriented students than in the past. Without scientists and engineers, our job creation capability faces a dismal future. It is estimated that 4% of our population are scientists or engineers, and those people produce jobs for 96% of the population. The decreasing number of U.S. students pursuing science out of high school, coupled with other countries that put a high emphasis on science and math, are putting our economy at risk. Our goal is to make a difference in this situation by creating more science-driven students, particularly bio-science, which we believe is the field with the largest propensity to generate high paying jobs. This is critical to our future.
While the field of traditional science has seen a lack of interest, the field of environmental science has flourished throughout our school system. Nevertheless, there are not large numbers of well-paid jobs in environmental science. It is our intent to capitalize on this phenomena and offer high school students the opportunity to be totally immersed in a tropical rainforest research environment.
The slopes of the Rincon de la Vieja volcano in north central Costa Rica are one of the most bio-diverse rainforests in the world. Partnering with us in this endeavor is Dr. Cameron Currie, a world-famous scientist at the University of Wisconsin who has made numerous discoveries studying leaf cutter ants in the tropics. Also partnering with us is Dr. Adian Pinto, a scientist at the University of Costa Rica and former student under Dr. Currie, and now leads field research projects in the Costa Rican forests. Many of these research projects are associated with grants coming out of Dr. Currie’s lab at the University of Wisconsin.
Other important partners are rotary clubs who typically align with school districts. It is our mission to offer these rainforest research trips to high schools only when we have a participating rotary club helping to promote the experience. We are adopting this approach to ensure that high schools are sustainable and have the support of the community. Students will need financial support to participate and unless we only aim at economically well-off students we miss a wide swath of possible Nobel nominees. Rotaries can help find support sources for a well-established program within a school district.
Seeds of Change Philosophy
Our philosophy is to implement this program where the budget is neutral for the school system. However, it will take extra dedication by science teachers willing to help. For this reason, our program develops with individual high schools by including incremental benefits to the participating teachers.
A Minnesota 501c3 non-profit corporation with a mission of enhancing bioscience education for high school students and creating more science-related careers.
Exposing High School science students to tropical rainforest research in partnership with:
- The Currie Lab - University of Wisconsin
- Biochemistry Dept.: School of Medicine at University of Costa Rica
- Your Community Rotary
Copyright © 2017 Seeds of Change, Inc.
of SECONDARY SCIENCE EDUCATION
CHANGING the LANDSCAPE