OPINION: Make 2012 The Summer Of Learning

by Bill Nye

Summer is here and with it the opportunity for students of all ages to spend the next 100 days learning, exploring and even possibly changing the world. It’s no secret that kids revel at the thought of a summer without homework. However soon after that last bell rings, kids often feel a sense of longing for schedules, activities and yes, learning.

It’s estimated the students can lose up to 40 percent of what they learned the previous school year over the summer. That means weeks of review in the fall for teachers and a re-training for kids as they get re-acclimated to learning.

Think of our athletes preparing for the Olympics this fall. They don’t take a day off from training. Why should kids take one-third of the year off from exercising their brains?

Technology has put an enormous amount of information at our fingertips. It’s all there for the taking if you know where to look.

Let’s make 2012 the summer of learning by engaging kids and keeping their brains active. I’ve teamed up with Sophia.org – a free site that offers 25,000 tutorials on a variety of subjects – to develop a Summer Challenge for students. By completing tutorials and quizzes, they expand their minds and also have a chance to win prizes. They also can learn about science through a variety of experiments I developed and follow the Curiosity rover that will land on Mars in August.

Now’s your chance to get them excited about math, science, English and more by taking advantage of the free resources that are all around us.

Learning can happen anywhere and opportunities are all around us. The dog days of summer provide an immense opportunity for kids to explore, experiment and even develop a passion for something new. We just need to remember to keep it active, entertaining and fun!

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