It's not all gloom and doom in American science education. This week brought some good news, as some of Philadelphia's experts in science, history and public education are stepping up to the plate, offering a program on evolution geared for middle and high school teachers. It will happen Feb. 11, which is the day before Darwin's birthday.
One of the lecturers, Michael Weisberg, has been a great friend to Planet-of-the-Apes. There were a number of hurdles I had to cross before I could start the weekly column, not least of which was an assignment to write the definitive history of evolution. Dr. Weisberg was a great help, guiding me through parts of "On the Origin of Species," and making sure I didn't make any mistakes or, heaven forbid, tpyos. The result is in the Evolution 101 link on the blog home page. It's not the definitive history, but it's been vetted by experts.
An undergraduate student, Paul Mitchell, is also heavily involved. Kudos to him. Here's what the Penn Museum sent me about the program. I'll try to go if I'm in town that day:
This year, Penn Museum is teaming up with the American Philosophical Society Museum in Philadelphia to celebrate Charles Darwin's 203rd birthday (he was actually born February 12, 1809) with a Human Evolution Workshop geared to middle and high school teachers. The program takes advantage of the Penn Museum's recently installed exhibition "Human Evolution: The First 200 Million Years," as well as materials developed by the American Philosophical Society Museum for their 2009 exhibition, "Dialogues with Darwin." The Workshop is free and teachers can receive three credit hours for attending.