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On a mission

There is a growing demand for science teachers and researchers in some of the major metropolitan cities of America including New York, Miami, San Francisco, Florida and Palm Beach, said David Kumar, Professor of Science Education and Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies at Florida Atlantic University, here on Tuesday.

"Teaching is becoming a profitable vocation in the U.S. with increasing demand for qualified professionals who can teach chemistry, physics and mathematics," said Mr. Kumar, who hails from the city. A winner of last year's Chemical Pioneer Award of the prestigious American Institute of Chemists, Mr. Kumar is in India to deliver a lecture at the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, a pioneer science research organisation based in Kolkata.

He attended an international conference to review mathematics and science education at the Homi Baba Science Education Centre, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai and presented a paper on `using interactive video for problem based learning anchored in Nanotechnology' for school students.

According to him, the interest among students for `pure science' in both India and the U.S. are on the decline. "In India science is taught and looked upon merely as a vehicle for producing a doctor or an engineer. This craze for engineering and medicine is destroying the interest of future generation in learning science as a subject at the higher level," said Mr. Kumar, who completed his postgraduation in chemistry from Mar Ivanios College.

Popularising science

Mr. Kumar described popularising science education among students as his mission. "Science is a way of thinking. The focus of science education should be to motivate students to learn the subject with interest and instil a scientific temper in them."

Sangeeth Kurian

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