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Science Lab Work: The Missing Ingredient for Motivation

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As a science-challenged student in my younger years, I did everything I could to avoid taking difficult science classes even though I lived in a family of scientists (my father was a college chemistry professor and my older brother followed in his footsteps.)

As a parent, I have tried to overcompensate for my scientific limitations by encouraging, prodding, and pleading with my boys to see the beauty, power, and potential career possibilities that science offers.

Unfortunately, I believe my efforts are failing. I am sure there are a number of reasons. But high up on the list is a reality that exists not only in my boys' relatively good suburban schools, but in schools across the country: The quality and quantity of lab work in science classes, a topic Education Week's Sean Cavanagh covers in "Science Labs: Beyond Isolationism."

What incentives need to be put in place to encourage schools to offer more high-quality science lab work for students?

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