Start kids early on skeptical thought – it’s FUN

It’s wonderful to bring you some good news about positive outreach in science and skepticism. Check out this program for kids taking place in Spokane, Washington. They teach kids how to recognize bad science by showing them why dowsing and astrology SEEMS to work but ultimately is a fail.

Bad Science Fridays teaches young scientists to rely on logic – Spokesman.com – July 4, 2013.

Building scientific literacy is about more than learning the laws of physics or memorizing the periodic table.

“At the basis of all science – well, at the basis of just about everything – is the ability to think critically and the ability to look at an argument or an idea and examine it,” said Aaron Berenbach, the science center’s education coordinator.

The implications extend beyond the classroom or laboratory – protecting consumers from claims about flimsy medicine, for example.

Reaching kids with skepticism is CRITICAL to their future. How many times have we heard that kids are not taught how to think through these issues. Give them the tools early to assess extraordinary claims and you will set them up with a good foundation for life. What a wonderful program!

You can do it too! Make an effort to volunteer to talk to kids about critical thinking and evaluating weird claims and ideas. They love it! Take a look at this post from last year when I was able to connect with kids and hear their points of view.

Tip: Patricia Hall

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  2 comments for “Start kids early on skeptical thought – it’s FUN

  1. Chris Howard
    July 5, 2013 at 9:13 AM

    Unfortunately in my state (Texas) the majority political party has officially stated that it is opposed to teaching critical thinking.

    The general consensus of the cotizens seems to be that it’s fine to teach critical thinking to kids, just so long as it doesn’t lead them to critically think about what their parents indoctrinated them into believing.

    It’s really sad, because kids absolutely need to learn critical thinking, but many of their parents feel threatened by it.

  2. J
    July 5, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    I like to think the kid show Adventure Time is doing this as well, especially with a recent episode called “Wizards Only, Fool”.

    @Chris
    Not just threatened, but also embarassed, because they have to put their own reputation of being a trustworthy and reliable guide on the line when the implications of some answers come back around to their own misconceptions, which may create a sense of betrayal in children and turn into a grudge.

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