BIOPHYSICHEMOLOGY: Ok, perhaps that’s a bit crude but it’s essentially how a group of Michigan State scientists are looking to redefine K-12 science education. Instead of introducing science as discrete chunks of facts about biology, physics, and chemistry, they propose 8+1 Science that interweaves the subjects into eight broader topics: atoms, cells, radiation, systems change, forces, energy, conservation of mass and energy and variation. The topics are explored through two fundamental questions: of what are things made and how do systems interact and change? The +1 refers specifically to the focus on inquiry instead of rote memorization. Betsy says this reminds her of the gorgeous John Updike poem, “The Dance of the Solids,” which concludes: “How nicely microscopic forces yield, In Units growing Visible, the World we wield!”

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