Science is the most powerful force on earth. Science and science alone can move mountains, cure disease, land on the moon, and explain who we are and where we came from. Not love, not religion, not Zen meditation, not new age crystals, only science actually gets the job done. So why do students so often find their science class to be the most boring one of the day?
Science is an undeniable force for good in the world. It's easy to forget sometimes just how bad things were before science, and how bad they could get again if science falls by the wayside in the ebb and flow of civilizations. (And don't think for a minute that it can't happen. Assuming science will always be there is like assuming the housing market will never go down. The ancient Greeks knew the earth went around the sun; how long did it take for Kepler to rediscover that?)
If you have recently not died of a bacterial infection, and you want your children to enjoy the same freedom to not die of simple infections, you need to support robust, hands-on science education at every level, but particularly in middle and high school when students are forming ideas about what they want to do with their lives. This whole civilization thing only keeps going if every new generation grows up willing, able, and interested enough to do their part.
By robust, I mean science taught by scientists for students who want to be scientists when they grow up, or at least be people with a deep knowledge and appreciation of science.
By hands-on, I mean classes where students confront and engage the real stuff of science — chemicals, rockets, lasers, spectroscopes, and vats of goo — up close and personal.