Philip Greenspun asks if high-school students should kick the whole science/maths thing, and scratch-build bicycles instead.
It’s a surprisingly compelling argument, and ties in with the sort of stuff I was trying to do on The Big Bang this year. Rather than show how to make the rocket planes from scratch, for example, we focussed on the bit that isn’t obvious (optimised bicarb/vinegar reaction – surprisingly hard to do well). Pretty much any kid is ingenious enough to make a cardboard tube run down a washing line, I reckoned – particularly if they have a strong enough motivation to do so.
And a bicycle is an interesting choice – John, care to comment?