I just re-watched an episode of MadMen where they are pitching snowballs and this phrase keeps coming up “Snowball’s chance in hell”. We’ve been given a chance to pitch our own snowball at the looming problem of improving science education for the next generation. Right now the situation feels like hell.
New standards are coming out. They paint a nice picture of understandings in science and scientific thinking. But how can schools get there? They are laden with so many burdens of society, the institution itself feels like the wrong place to inspire innovation and new solutions. We need to be thinking of the high risk ideas, or as Jim Gee said in a past talk at GLS, we need black swans to become the new norm.
And here we (speaking in my 50’s now) are trying enable a new generation to think boldly, to take risks, to solve problems that we have not only not been able to solve – we have been much of the problem itself. My glimmers of hope come from those I see who want to do things DIFFERENTLY than we have done…one’s who are ready to pitch that snowball and find a new way to stay cool.
Many, many of those people are on the Internet. They are the revolutionaries we hear about around the world making strides towards peace, global sustainability, and an end to the social and environmental injustices many in my own generation are enjoying. These people, these young adults and the generations to follow are the ones who are going to figure it out and turn this ship around, they have to…..or else.
In getting older (and wiser?), I want to keep taking the risks—I want to go down pitching snowballs. I will spend my days hoping one will stick – one will go viral, one will gather results that are convincing, one will make a big difference.