Why must Science be fun?

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Knox12's picture
Why must Science be fun?

This one is just a little pet peeve of mine that I’ve never really had the opportunity to articulate to the masses before. This forum has (in a way) filled that void, so here it is. Before reading, please be assured that, (i) I know this is likely to be unpopular, (ii) this is nothing personal and (iii) I fully appreciate (and embrace) all opposing views. Just thought it might provoke some interesting debate!

I always cringe when I see a “mad” science teacher, invariably badly dressed, bounding across the classroom, lab or stage, grasping some new fangled experiment or demo, declaring it to be a “fun” departure. The only thing worse is the same individual sporting their “Chemistry is Fun”, “wacky”, tie-dyed T-Shirt, calling themselves, “Dr. (Insert Initial)” while sipping from their brand new Royal Society of Chemistry Periodic Table Mug. The reason I cringe is that I remember being 14, 15, 16 years old, and recall that quite frankly, school as an entity, let alone science, certainly wasn’t fun. Not a least in comparison to all the other illicit things that a frustrated adolescent might be mentally considering!

So, what’s my point? Am I just miserable for miserable’s sake? Well no. What I am trying to get to is this. Why must be we making science “fun” in order to encourage learning? What about the fact that Science is simply incredibly important (economically and socially) and that in itself makes it a worthwhile pursuit. The constant attempt to make Science fun, suggests that if it has NOT been trivialized by doing so it somehow isn’t very interesting. We ought to be promoting science in a more mature way.

Woko's picture

Fun? I'm not sure I found or find science fun, Knox. Engrossing, satisfying, curious, astounding, perhaps, but not fun. 

Lecturers posing as mad scientists have, as their first responsibility, the teaching of science, I would have thought. If they make it fun for others at the same time I have no problem with that. However, if their attempts to make science fun takes students' attention from their learning then the teaching suffers. But if making science fun facilitates learning then I have no problem with that either. 

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