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.
Tags:826 Valencia, creative writing, science education