As we come to the end of the year it is only normal to ponder what was accomplished during the last year and what the new year will bring. This is also the time of year when many teachers think about how they can help their students reach their academic goals by the end of the year. After all the school year is nearly half over and summer vacation or graduation will be here before you realize it. Over the last few days of your winter break think about what science events have shaped our world and think about the science issues that will most like influence the coming year.
This year in science the hot topic was global warming. It is clear that our world is undergoing a major shift in climate and weather patterns. However, it is still not clear if this change is caused by the phenomenon of global warming, if it has been caused by natural patterns of climate change, or if it has been caused by a combination of manmade and natural factors. No matter why it is happening, it is happening, and this is the generation that has to learn how to deal with the problems that come along with these changes.
In the year 2008, global warming will most likely stay a hot science issue. However, because it is also an election year, other science issues dealing with genetic experimentation, stem cell research and alternative energy development will also receive a lot of attention. As you plan your lessons for the last four to five months of school, try working in these hot topics into your curriculum.
While ringing in the New Year think about easy science fair projects and school science fair projects that your students can complete before the end of the school year. Try to focus your science fair projects on issues that are important to modern life. Have a great New Year!