To understand the importance of a good science education, it's important to think about the many ways in which science contributes to our everyday lives.
Wherever you are, whatever you're doing, you're probably enjoying the benefits that result from a scientist's work. Sound engineers make your movies and music better. Doctors study diseases and discover new cures and treatments. Chemists bring you health and beauty aids - from medicines to soap and perfume - to keep you feeling and looking your best. Agricultural scientists help bring fresh, nutritious produce to your supermarkets. Automotive engineers get you from point A to point B quickly and safely. And before the pest control company comes to service your home, there are entomologists studying how bugs and critters operate. These are just a few examples. Many more examples of science abound, on the ground, in the skies, and in the oceans.
When you think of scientists or engineers, you might think of astronauts, lab researchers, oceanographers, biologists, geologists, or anthropologists. But many other people in your community work with science every day: your dentist, pharmacist, veterinarian, zookeeper, optometrist, park ranger, and physical therapist or nurse, among others. People with science backgrounds also work as statisticians, teachers, and journalists. In short, science is an important part of many different kinds of jobs.
Interested in more? Check out these additional resources!
- Spotlight on "real people doing science"
This web page of the National Institutes of Health spotlights careers of real people doing science on the job.
- Examples of careers in science
This U.S. Department of the Interior site focuses on science careers, from meteorologist to underwater archaeologist to outdoor recreation planner.
- Engineering - Go For It!
Engineers who work on rollercoasters, musical mega-hits, space missions, medical "miracles," digital art, environmental protection, national security, and Hollywood movie magic are among those featured in "Engineering - Go For It!", a 64-page publication of the American Society for Engineering Education. The magazine also includes detailed information on career specialties, starting salaries, and engineering schools, and is designed to attract high school students to engineering and technology. Copies sell for $3 each but visitors to the site can see some sample pages for free.
- Careers for kids who like science
This special page for kids on the Bureau of Labor Statistics site features basic job information and occupational outlooks on careers for children who like science.
- Science-based careers are fastest-growing occupations
Another page from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the fastest growing occupations-those in computer- and health-related fields-require a solid understanding of science.
- Science careers lesson for children
A good tool for teachers, this lesson from Science NetLinks of the American Association for the Advancement of Science has students doing a report on distinct scientific fields using the Internet resources provided.
- Science careers directory
The CareerSmarts site offers links to sources of information on science careers.
- Federal websites for kids
This listing provides quick links to U.S. government agency web pages for kids in elementary through high school; pages include fun facts, games, project ideas, and career information.
- The Science Spot’s "Kid Zone"
This site offers career information in a variety of science disciplines.
- Environmental Literacy Council
The Environmental Literacy Council is dedicated to helping young people develop a fundamental understanding of the systems of the world, both living and non-living, along with the analytical skills needed to weigh scientific evidence and policy choices. The site also takes current science topics in the news and explains them in everyday language.
- Discover Engineering
The Discover Engineering site features information on what engineering is and what engineers do, as well as interesting facts, games, and online demonstrations of how everyday objects work.
- Science Knows No Boundaries
Sponsored by the U.S. Agricultural Research Service, this site shows how agricultural scientists travel to far-away countries to gain knowledge that can benefit us all. The site is designed for children approximately 8-13 years old, but has links to more advanced material.