Importance of science to young learners

December 21, 2018

Science is important because it influences most aspects of everyday life, including food, energy, medicine, transportation, leisure activities and more. Science improves human life at every level, from the most remotest barangay of our country the highly urbanized cities.

Everyday applications of scientific knowledge, apart from the ubiquitous technology or gadgets  we  use daily, are many and diverse. An understanding of solar radiation can prevent a painful sunburn, an awareness of inertia is part of safe driving and a grasp of number theory and statistics can save us  money.

Although some may not realize it, virtually everything that we do in our day to day lives will involve science in one way or another. Whether it’s using a simple electronic device, consuming health supplements, or simple texting on our cellphones, virtually everything in the modern world has a scientific basis.

Without science, its subsequent inventions and the processes it yields, life as we know  today would look very different or our very existence may even be in question. To help emphasize this point, here are four basic ways in which science is used in everyday life.

Talking on the phone -- It may be hard to believe, but cellular phones have only been popular for less than two decades, yet you probably can’t imagine life without your cell phone. Did you know that every time you make or receive a phone call on your cellphone, or your landline for that matter, you are making use of scientific technology? While telecommunications have come a long way since the days of Alexander Graham Bell  the premise still remains the same, and these devices are only made available to us because of science.

Tracking calories in foods and drinks -- If you’re watching your figure, or if you’re looking to improve your physique, tracking and monitoring your daily calorie consumption is a great way of ensuring you remain in a calorie deficit, which will then result in weight loss or maintenance. Whether you are tracking them manually, using an app or piece of software, the only reason you are able to know exactly how many calories are in each food and drink item you consume, is again due to science.

A calorie is a unit measurement of energy, and manufacturers work out how much each item contains using a complex chemistry process, as they have determined that a calorie is the exact amount of energy needed to increase the temperature of 1 kg of water by a single degree C.

Taking medicine -- When you’re ill for example, when you suffer from a cold or the flu—you will typically take medicine in order to manage the symptoms and feel better. If you have an infection, a doctor will prescribe antibiotics, which will destroy the infection and make you better. All of this medicine however, is only available due to science, as experts have conducted complex experiments and research in laboratories all over the globe, to develop specific medicine for specific ailments. Just imagine what life would be like if this wasn’t the case.

Composting or gardening -- If we want to grow healthy trees and plants in our garden, we often use fertilizers made from home-made compost heaps, as broken down vegetation and certain food items result in potent nutrients that plants and greenery in general absolutely thrive upon. When we have some old vegetables that are past their best, if we have a compost heap, we throw them on and let them decompose. Decomposition is part of the wonderful world of science, as we now understand that by letting certain ingredients turn rotten and decompose, that the process can actually be beneficial for our gardens.

Science as we are  taught in school  affects us all, every day of the year, from the moment we wake up, all day long, and through the night. Your digital alarm clock, the weather report, the asphalt you drive on, the bus you ride in, your decision to eat a baked potato instead of fries, your cell phone, the antibiotics that treat your sore throat, the clean water that comes from your faucet, and the light that you turn off at the end of the day have all been brought to you courtesy of science.

The modern world would not be modern at all without the understandings and technology enabled by science. But with all these technology and inventions that make our life a little bit easier, we must also teach our children to become responsible and caring citizens in order to preserve the world we are all living in.  (The author is Head Teacher in Abulug National Rural and Vocational High School in Cagayan)