Posts Tagged 'Science Education'

The worst pterosaur ever and the public perception of dinosaurs

It’s all too easy to pick upon cheap plastic toys and complain about how bad they are, so I will. However, despite the withering criticism and scorn I am about to pour onto this awful excuse for a ‘pterosaur’ there is a more pertinent point to be made, so either enjoy the bile and then stoke one’s chin thoughtfully over the social commentary / science / dinosaurs bit, or just skip to that now if you can’t be bothered too wade through the ‘look at the bloody carpus, it’s rubbish!’ rubbish.
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Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde, Karlsruhe

imgp2391My recent trip back to the UK included a very quick tour of southern Germany and I was able to visit some old friends and colleagues and get back to a few museums. I know the Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde (State Museum for Natural History, their website is only in German I’m afriad) in Karlsruhe quite well as both the ‘home’ of my student Ross Elgin and domain of the irrepressible Dino Frey, in addition to a horde of excellent pterosaur specimens from Germany and Brazil.

However, it is the public part of the museum that I want to talk about today (having already covered the Fukui Dinosaur Museum in and the Tokyo Museum for Science and Nature in Japan and the Museo del Desierto, and Museo de los Aves in Mexico – this could become another feature by the time I cover the IVPP, BSPG and BMNH x 2). Karlsruhe is a fairly small city in the south west of Germany close to the Black Forest and the French border, and so it is a bit of a surprise that the place can afford to maintain such a large and well run museum, and that is certainly to their credit.
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The importance of science education for children

One of the features of wordpress is a list of what web searches have led people to your blog (or at least hits anyway) and they themselves can be fascinating glimpses into what people are interested in or what information on (mostly Tyrannosaurus and Jurassic Park). A recent one was the title of this post and it is a very interesting question (precisely it was “what is the importance of teaching science to children?”). Apart from the fundamental answer (well, everyone should know a bit about biology, chemistry and physics, much as they should know a bit about history, geography, art and maths) it is a good question. What does science bring to the table?
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