On inspiring children

Yesterday I attended my first ever TEDx event at the University of Warwick. The TEDxWarwickEd talks were dedicated to inspiring education initiatives and learning approaches. The common theme that ran through the five presentations was creating inspiring educational environments that cater for the individual learner – this is a huge endeavour and the five speakers presented their thoughts, vision and their innovative ventures on the theme.

As the TED events are all about ideas worth spreading, what I took with me and what I want to share with you is an idea from the presentation of Daniel Scully, PhD candidate in Particle Physics at the University of Warwick and science communicator. His talk explored how we can attract more young people to study science. There is a worrying decline on the number of students taking A level physics. In response to that there are a series of national initiatives aiming to encourage students and in particular female students to take up physics.

So how do we inspire children to study physics? Here is an idea worth spreading in two quotes “… it is not the questions we have answered but what needs to be answered – it is what lies ahead that is important” and “People are not inspired by what you have done, they inspired by what THEY CAN DO.” In other words, science is not about what we have achieved, but more importantly about what we haven’t. This is where the excitement, innovation and rewards lie. So let us sow the seeds of curiosity and hopefully they will grow into a love for exploration and discovery.

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