A New Face for Science
The classroom visitor said, “Please draw a picture of a scientist,” and the students obliged with sketches of aging white men in beards and eyeglasses.
Then the visitor, a volunteer from Bayer Corporation’s Pharmaceutical Division in West Haven, opened up a “Sensible Science” box and used its contents to perform amazing science experiments that had the class wide-eyed and engaged. The students learned important scientific principles, to be sure, but having access to someone involved in technology had an even greater effect. The next time the students were asked to “draw a scientist,” their pictures reflected people of both genders and assorted ages and skin tones. That, as much as science itself, was an important lesson learned.
Since 1992, Bayer employees have been visiting classrooms to work with students in hands-on experiments and inquiry-based learning. The goal is to help create a future work force that is scientifically literate by exposing them to working scientists and real world experiments while they’re young and keeping them interested for a lifetime.