Jim Whitehead ejw at cse.ucsc.edu
Thu Oct 23 23:42:18 PDT 2003

Sounds like FoRK members are an ideal target audience for this ... as long
as we keep the politics to a dull roar :-)

- Jim

From: r_j_coppola at hotmail.com (rjc)
Newsgroups: k12.ed.science
Subject: SAS & LABRats
Date: 23 Oct 2003 09:52:55 -0700

Announcing LABRats--a revolutionary new science education program from
the Society for Amateur Scientists

October 1, 2003

Today the Society for Amateur Scientists will begin building a new
national program that could change the way science is taught in

It's called LABRats, and promises to bring together passionate adult
science mentors and young people age 12 to 18 who share their passion
for science. Our long-term goal is to build a nation-wide network of
community-based LABRat "packs" that could one-day include hundreds of
thousands of young men and women and which could be sustained
indefinitely, much like the Boy and Girl Scouts. Only instead of
teaching camping skills, LABRats will teach science through a
carefully designed inquiry-based program. What's more, LABRats will
also teach essential life skills-like how to stay healthy and how to
tell good information from nonsense-as well as the great human virtues
like self-esteem and community service. In short, LABRats will help
prepare its members academically for college, while simultaneously
giving them many of the practical skills they will need to live
rewarding and productive lives.

The LABRats concept for teaching science is nothing short of
revolutionary. Each participant will receive a hands-on introduction
to every major field of science. Members who stay the course will
advance through a series of ranks. To do so, each member will have to
demonstrate an ever-increasing level of competence in basic science
skills, as well as show an increasing awareness of how science serves
humanity. Along with the core studies, the young investigators will be
able to tailor the program to their own interest by selecting
electives in whatever fields intrigue them. The highest rank in
LABRats will be analogous to Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts. It will be
extremely difficult to merit and only the most dedicated young
scientists will obtain it. In fact, we intend to make it such a
noteworthy accomplishment that everyone who reaches that rank will be
all but certain to be accepted into a good college. In addition, we
hope to persuade some of America's finest colleges to provide full
scholarships to many who achieve this honor.

I invite you to look over the white paper online at <
http://www.sas.org/E-Bulletin/archive/library/labrats/ > and decide
for yourself whether LABRats is going to make a difference in this
world. And please, don't hesitate to send whatever comments or
suggestions you may have directly to me at < scarlson at sas.org >


Shawn Carlson, Ph.D.
Founder and Executive Director
Society for Amateur Scientists
< http://www.sas.org >

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