Albert Einstein said the whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking.
Science engages curiosity, provides practical tools for understanding everyday life, and it sparks critical thinking, problem solving and creativity in young learners.
The Tahlequah Public Library Summer Reading Program hosted visually entertaining and Mad Science educator Super Steve Cox on Tuesday at the Carnegie Room in an informative presentation geared to invite children to pursue STEM careers.
Cox’s Mad Science presentation informed children and adults on basic scientific knowledge, including electrostatic generation, sublimation, and the Doppler effect. He even talked about NASA’s solar system exploration.
“It used to be No Child Left Behind, and we left science behind. We got put on the back burner. Now it’s STEM: Science, technology, engineering and math. So the spotlight is on science now, which is really cool,” he said. “We are partners in education with NASA, and NASA has made great efforts to get kids interested in science.”
Cox grew up in a Houston neighborhood where astronauts lived, and he used his passionate interest in space and science to become a teacher and a coach. Now he travels all over the region sharing his love of science and learning about the world we live in.
“This has been a lot of fun for me. I used to say that no classroom could hold me. So my classroom is the state of Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma,” he said. “We’ve presented probably to over 100,000 kids and parents in the last eight years.”
Cox said the impact the Mad Science enrichment program has produced crowd effects that rival teen idols.
“Kids just go nuts over it. Not to brag, but every place we go we have the most packed houses that they had ever seen - the libraries and school assemblies,” he said. “We can pull our van up next to a public school and you could have Justin Beiber or somebody - we’ve found kids more crazy. The teachers in the cafeteria - we’ve had them settle them down just by seeing our van. We can’t even go in the cafeteria to set up until we get the kids out of there because they go nuts when they see us.”
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