Talk about Science, Cancer and Lemon Marinated Chicken
Jan 11 2012: If 3 middle aged adults gave these exact same talks, instead of 3 high school kids, would you be impressed? Would you give it the same rating as you do now? If not, why not?
It appears that just the fact that it’s a kid makes people rate it more highly. Might be an extension of the “ooh look at what my kid did” fawning which parents do whether it’s a crayon drawing a 3 year old did, or some cancer research a 17 year old did.
But that’s not what TED is for. Sure, have science fairs, and inspire kids to do scientific research: we need new trained scientists and engineers. But keep that at the schools, science fairs, and other appropriate venues. On a website like TED which is for real groundbreaking work, everything should be judged by the standards of real groundbreaking work, regardless of the age of the people doing the work.
Also, schools seem to emphasize using buzzwords and impressing people with terminology too much, which is apparent from these 3 girls’ presentations. That’s not what science is about.
Schools need to shift their emphasis from memorization, terminology, and regurgitation to teaching real skills, real knowledge, and encouraging critical and innovative thinking. They also need to encourage students to do work to that is of real value and has a real impact, rather that doing work to impress. These science fair projects seem to be more about impressing than doing good science (maybe the judges need to change their judging criteria, or new judges need to be called in).