Due to my location, I tend to a large number of students from nearby schools, and I have noticed that most students that come to me either love or hate Chemistry. It seems to be a subject that inspires strong emotions, though I have never related with that, personally. These reactions have a very strong correlation with the teacher teaching the course and how fun he/she makes the course. And they have a really strong correlation with how well a student does in advanced courses. If you are confused about whether you need to study chemistry at all, let me see if I can make it simpler for you.
So do you need to study Chemistry?
Chemistry is the study of composition of matter. We are surrounded by matter, so if you want to understand the world around you, I would say yes. Studying what stuff is made of, and how things react can have such far reaching consequences from biology to medicine to astronomy to geology to polymers.
But what if you don’t have a good teacher wh/o stokes your interest? What do you do then?
Studying Chemistry (or Physics for that matter): how does it get fun?
- STEM is everyone’s birthright, just like art and music. Set a goal. Start early.
- Now the goal could be curriculum based or interest based. The former would look like : I am going to pick a STEM Chem textbook and learn the first 3 chapters, and the latter: I am going to learn how sunscreen protects the skin. Guess which one works better…. Interest based goals always work better.
- Set 3 interest based goals per year, and set time limits to finish them. Write a report, make it formal.
- Present your findings. A science project is great, or it could be just to your family. As you practice answering questions, you realize what you know and what you don’t know. That is how interest in science grows.
I am starting a Science Project Facebook group, enrollment is open for a very short time: it ends on January 13th 2017. It is open only to 10 students at this time, and it is a forum for you to be open and vulnerable about:
- your interest in science
- what works and what doesn’t work
- how you can move forward to whatever your goal might be.
Write to me or comment below if you’d like to join.