Posted by: COSI | January 27, 2011

COSI—Nice or Necessary?

As a science guy, it has been encouraging to hear the call out for the importance of science and math education and literacy—whether it be the President in last night’s State of the Union, major corporate leaders, or our own local international players like Battelle.

President Obama equated our need to rise to the occasion with science and math education with the US response to Sputnik—the first satellite launched into space. But by the Russians, not the US.  The country’s response was forceful and quick.

John Glenn purchases his COSI Membership from COSI executive director and founder Sandy Hallock, 1965

John Glenn purchases his COSI Membership from COSI executive director and founder Sandy Hallock, 1965

I was a product of that era—the emphasis and investment in science and math education, the collective effort to meet a challenge that required a jump not only in the number of engineers and technical experts but in the innovation that followed in meeting our national goals—most specifically to place a man on the moon and return him safely.

And John Glenn has told me that that is why he became one of the early members for this new organization, the Center of Science & Industry which in itself was a Columbus response to the need to engage and inspire youth in the sciences.

What is different today, though, is the solid research that now shows that out-of-school science experiences are as much of a contributing factor, if not more, in a sustained interest in and knowledge of science than school studies and performance.

Senator and astronaut John Glenn at COSI, November 21, 2010.

Senator and astronaut John Glenn at COSI, November 21, 2010.

So we see the impact COSI can have as more necessary than ever to assure we have a scientifically literate workforce and citizenry.

Did you have an experience with COSI which helped your interest and possible career choice?   I’d love to hear them.

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