Science Cafe Discusses Importance of Scientific Education in Western Kansas


On Monday, October 14th Science Café presented an educational opportunity held at Thirsty’s in Hays. The talk was led by Ms. Keri Maricle, a biology instructor at NCKTC.

The overarching topic discussed was how science education is diminishing in the state of Kansas and how the importance of proper teaching could lead to better-educated students.

“There are over 600 vacant teaching positions across the state of Kansas,” Maricle said. “Keeping graduates in the state of Kansas will help fill these much-needed positions”

Maricle also discussed the changing learning environment students are currently in due to advances in technology and altered learning styles.

“The way students are learning is changing, many students in science learn by physically doing things such as in lab classes, but with the usage of lectures we are failing to change the approach of our teaching to adapt to students’ learning styles,” Maricle said. “Hands-on learning is the best way to educate students across America in the science field, but unfortunately this style is not used as much as it should be”

The utilization of multiple teaching forms helps students find their personal learning style and encourages success among students.

“Summer camps and field trips help students learn about the world around them, while hands-on learning throughout high school and college is very beneficial toward helping students learn and remember important scientific information,” Maricle said. 

The talk was concluded with a simple but effective experiment determining which members of the audience were supertasters and which were non-tasters. This was done by having each individual taste a piece of PTC paper, if it tasted bitter, they are a supertaster but if the paper lacked any taste, it means they are a non-taster.

This quick demonstration showed how the scientific method can easily be applied to real-world applications and how the importance of science and sharing useful scientific information can lead to future success from students. 

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