3-minute interview with Dr. Dennis Bartels

The executive director of the Exploratorium since May 2006 served on the National Science Foundation Education and Human Resources Directorate Advisory Committee. Bartels, who has a Ph.D. in education administration and policy analysis from Stanford University, testified for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, most recently before the full House Science Committee on K-12 Science and Math Education.

Is the Exploratorium a venue for education or entertainment? It’s a leading research lab of learning. We can try lots of things that universities and schools can’t. The most fun and the most powerful place I’ve ever worked for has been the Exploratorium.

How is the Exploratorium involved in improving education? We train more teachers in science than just about any institution in the Bay Area. We also work with schools, after-school providers, other museums and media.

What do you think about current science education in schools? There is more attention to it, but it hasn’t yet changedmuch in schools. It’s actually taught less now because everything is about math and reading. I feel as sorry for history and art as I do for science.

Is it an issue of not enough funding? No. I think that we don’t emphasize science much on the elementary-school level. We want to resuscitate science education in elementary schools when kids are most interested in their physical world. By high school, we’ve convinced most students that science is only for those who want to become scientists. But as a person of the 21st century, we all have to know about science — just look at the newspapers and politics.

svasilyuk@examiner.com


Check out more 3-minute interviews from our San Francisco newsroom.

businessLocalScience & TechnologyScience and Technology

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Gov. Gavin Newsom, show here speaking at the City College of San Francisco mass vaccination site in April, faces a recall election due to anger on the right over his handling of the pandemic, among other issues. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Why Gavin Newsom’s popularity could work against him in the recall election

Top pollster: ‘We’re not seeing the Democrats engaged in this election. And that may be a problem…’

Passengers ride the 14-Mission Muni bus on Friday, March 12, 2021. (Jordi Molina/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Transit officials fear Free Muni pilot could hurt already-strained service levels

Supporters say fare cuts could increase ridership, help low-income residents

The vacant property at 730 Stanyan St. in the Haight currently houses a safe sleeping site for the homeless. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Affordable housing project on former McDonald’s site delayed as city adds units

The start of construction on an affordable housing project on the site… Continue reading

Visitors read a notice hanging on the Polk Street entrance to City Hall on Thursday, March 26, 2020, shortly after the building was closed. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City Hall reopening to the public on June 7 after long closure due to COVID-19

San Francisco will reopen City Hall to the public on June 7… Continue reading

Historic streetcars are undergoing testing on The Embarcadero to prepare for their return to service on May 15.<ins></ins>
What to expect for Muni Metro’s relaunch on May 15

Significant service restoration includes downtown subway tunnels and historic streetcars

Most Read