This is one of the best initiatives I’ve seen in the quest to get kids interested in science. It’s simple but it’s wonderful.
Story Time From Space was the brainchild of educator Patricia Tribe and astronaut Alvin Drew. While in space, astronauts are videotaping themselves reading books to the children of Earth. These videos are being edited and placed on the Story Time From Space website.
The beauty of this program is that it marries science with a habit we already have for our children…story telling. We introduce language at a young age, why not introduce science?
This plan is especially important for our very young girls. If we can get them interested in science before they start to be influenced by gender stereotypes we stand a chance of broadening their options.
Our culture has grown to believe that boys are good at science and maths and girls are good at language. It’s rubbish. It is a learned bias. That sort of thinking is harmful to both girls and boys.
Rosie Revere: Getting Girls Into Science And Teaching Them To Fail
My favourite episode is the reading of the story Rosie Revere, Engineer written by Andrea Beaty and read by astronaut Kate Rubins. It is the story of a creative, problem-solving little girl named Rosie.
Rosie invents amazing contraptions. Strangely, they all involve cheese. She is laughed at and at first she is discouraged. However, she has a wonderful eccentric Great, Great Aunt Rose who motivates Rosie. She is the role model that Rosie needs.
Great, Great Aunt Rose teaches little Rosie, “The only true failure occurs when you quit.” She makes failure fun. She celebrates it with gusto, telling Rosie, “Your brilliant first flop was a raging success, come on, let’s get busy and get onto the next”.
This story presents messages so many of our kids need to hear. Fear of failure and a lack of grit are holding our children back from being the thinkers and creators they could be. The picture book also has the obvious message that girls can be great scientists and inventors.
What’s To Come?
Astronauts on the International Space Station will also conduct and videotape 9 educational science demonstrations designed by veteran Canadian astronaut, Bjarni Tryggvason, to complement the concepts found in the Story Time From Space books.
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Linda Stade has worked in various teaching and management roles in education for twenty-five years. She has worked in government and private schools, country and city, single-sex and co-ed. Currently, she is a writer, speaker and consultant in Western Australia.