Promega Connections is privileged to feature this guest blog from Lilly Quach, one of the high school students participating in #scistuchat, a monthly Twitter chat, in which high school science students and scientists around the world get together online to discuss a particular topic. You can read more about #scistuchat at Biology101.
Guest Blog by Lilly Quach (@LitheLilly)
Across Earth’s 197 million square miles, there are scientists on every corner of the globe. Through the use of Twitter, students all over the world have been given the golden opportunity to connect with their inner interest in science. Science is a vast ambiguous field, always subject to change and fraught with questions. By means of today’s modern social media, communication with scientists is now an easily attainable learning experience for the intrigued. This valuable experience, not even available a decade ago, is now within the grasps of the teenagers who will pave a road of success. I am grateful to be able to participate in such a friendly, educational environment. This will remain in my memory as a truly wonderful experience, and I hope to take part in such events more often in the future.
On the second Thursday of every month, a discussion is held among a collection of high school students, teachers, and scientists. Knowing the prospect of mingling with all sorts of individuals in the world, I find it truly exciting to be a contributor in this intellectual exchange. During these hour-long discussions, students are posed questions by the teacher(s) to stimulate the conversation’s progression. Some questions involve more than just science, such as philosophical concepts that apply to the subject. This method of involving not just scientific material is quite intriguing, because it explores the concept from all different perspectives. These innovative inquiries prompt further questioning from the students, hence the never ending flow of conversation with the scientists. The ratio of the participants is relatively humorous, because the scientists are greatly outnumbered. Although their numbers are few by comparison, they kindly put in the massive effort to address most of our curious questions. This Socratic learning process is an incredibly enjoyable pastime and a healthy stimulant for the developing student mind.
As beneficial as this is for the students, scientists also acquire a special opportunity to express their thoughts, knowledge, and/or opinions related to the subject at hand. While a Twitter hashtag (#scistuchat) may not be an official publication, a scientist’s words can be freely shared with the future generation without the fear of harsh criticism or bias. This method of spreading knowledge is simple and effective. I have found that I can learn much from the chats, yet not notice the educational function of the event. I take pleasure in knowing that I am able to gain knowledge and still receive a sense of fun concurrently. The ambiance of the conversations is, for the most part, casual and lenient. Students will enjoy speaking with others who are just as curious and enthusiastic about science.
#scistuchat is not just a regular hashtag used for popular recent stories browsing. It is an extraordinary community of eager students, committed scientists, and compassionate teachers who are all striving to reach a higher insight of education. So why not join us on this exciting scientific journey? Members of the audience are welcome to join in, and as the saying goes, “The more, the merrier.”
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