Science reading

Currently reading

One of the things that Sandra and Rainer did during Take Your Kid to Work Day was meet with the Head of the Environmental Science program. Sandra wants to study Environmental Science in combination with Disaster Studies. It would be a great undergrad degree for the kind of questions she likes to ask and the kind of ‘big systems problem-solving’ career she’d like to have. While talking with the Department Head, she was given a copy of Science³: A Science Student’s Success Guide.

It looks like it will be an incredible resource. In particular, I was drawn to a segment on the back of the book which talked about how the authors all felt that the divisions between scientific disciplines had actually impeded their progress as scientists. It is a book to read in your first year of university, or before, to gain maximum use out of it. Here’s a description from the website:

–Here you’ll learn the skills not normally taught in the classroom; effective post-secondary study skills, how to think critically and communicate in science, using mathematics as a scientific tool, how to leverage the use of word roots, prefixes and suffixes when reading scientific papers and texts and how to highlight your science skills to create opportunities for a job or graduate school. Science3 also shows you how Chemistry, Physics and Biology interrelate and demonstrates how you can effectively apply the same study strategies to all three disciplines. —

A few tidbits:

-Key concepts and scientists are outlined for biology, chemistry, and physics.

-It addresses how to write for the sciences.

-I really like that they cover the idea of mathematics as a tool for scientists.

-The sections on studying are brief but marvellous: they recommend evidence-based study methods (ie, ones that scientific studies support).

I haven’t had time to read it cover to cover, but from the bits I’ve dipped into, I can say that I recommend it for homeschooling students no matter whether they’re on a path to science or not. It is approachable, useful, well-written, and the kind of blatantly fundamental tool every student should have.


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