The Google Doodle today honors Maria Sibylla Merian, one of the world’s first scientific illustrators. Maria’s passion for insects and flowers would change science forever. Maria lived at a time when few women ventured into the sciences, and yet she became one of the world’s most talented scientific illustrators. During my science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) workshops I introduce teachers to reflective journaling in the STEM and science classroom. Reflective journaling is quite different than the traditional science notebook which tends to be teacher-driven as opposed to student-driven. Teachers maintain reflective journals during the training, and return to their classrooms to introduce their students to reflective journaling as well. I imagine Maria did quite a bit of reflective journaling during her days. To delve deeper into Maria Sibylla Merian’s impact on science, and to view her illustrations and a video of her nature illustrations check out the following article by Grrl Scientist in Guardian UK here.
Neuroscientist, Beau Lotto thinks all people (kids included) can learn science through play. Play is one of the only human endeavors where uncertainty is actually celebrated. Through play and discovery, we change our perceptions based on what we have experienced. Lotto is joined by 12 year-old Amy O’Toole, where they discuss the research Amy and her classmates conducted: The Blackawtonbees Project, the first peer-reviewed article to be published by school children. Check out Beau Lotto and Amy O’Toole’s TED Talk “Science is for everyone, kids included” here.