Thursday, June 21, 2007

Science Writing, 826 Valencia Style

At the World's Fair, David Ng (Director of the Advanced Molecular Biology Laboratory at the University of British Columbia and editor of the Science Creative Quarterly) proposes a science outreach project for elementary-school kids that would involve a combination of a lab tour or hands-on lab experience with creative science writing. His inspiration was a visit to 826 Valencia in San Francisco*, which runs fun writing "field trips" for kids (not to mention a pirate supply store).

Personally, I think that's a fantastic idea. Having the kids write about their experience can help them think about the science. According to my brother, who volunteers at 826 Valencia, kids have a great time collaborating to create their own "book." Maybe this could be the start of the next generation of hard (bio)science fiction writers!

* 826 Valencia was created by McSweeney's and is "dedicated to supporting students aged 6 to 18 with their writing skills, and helping teachers get their students excited about the literary arts." There are branches in cities across the United States, including Brooklyn (storefront: Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co.), Los Angeles (Storefront: Echo Park Time Travel Mart), Chicago (Storefront: The Boring Store), Seattle (Storefront: Greenwood Space Travel Supply Co.), Ann Arbor (Storefront: Monsters Union Local 826), and soon-to-open-in Boston.
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