I remember eating in school in the years after the Second World War. Most of my friends had miserable portions of Spam with an inedible, glutinous pudding served in containers we called 'coffins.' As a vegetarian, I had a lump of loathsome cheese and some bread.
I did not study science at school until I was 13, when I was totally turned on by a seemingly dreary old teacher who suddenly, unannounced, manufactured a huge explosion in the middle of a totally boring monologue. From then on, all of his class wanted to make explosions.
Scientists need to be prepared to engage, and the best people to engage with are students, ideally from primary school because there's no question that their capacity to work out complex things is extremely good.
We are more dependent on science and engineering than at any other time in history. However, there is plenty of evidence that far too many people are scientifically illiterate, often having been put off science at school.
I went to school with butterflies of fear every day for years - from primary school onwards - not just worried about being bullied by classmates, but by teachers.
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