Science icon and host of Cosmos Neil deGrasse Tyson has got to be the coolest scientist around. He’s right up there with Bill Nye and Don “Mr. Wizard” Herbert. In speeches, TV shows, public appearances, and in his writings he he makes science fun and accessible to the average person while also advocating for good scientific study and policies.
Geek pop site The MarySue posted a wonderful video of Mr. Tyson at an appearance at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. In a gymnasium packed with spectators, he brought a 6-year-old girl out in the coolest Einstein shirt ever, to ask him a question. Her question, “how can first graders help the earth?” is both simple and wonderful. His response is fantastic. He urges her to explore everything: banging pots, jumping in puddles, etc., even if it annoys her parents.
The whole exchange is awesome and made me wonder how many times I told my son to stop banging, splashing, or whatever. I will definitely think about my response to him doing “experiments” later on. We need to explore. We need to experiment. We need to challenge conventional wisdom. And, we desperately need our kids to ask, “How can I help the Earth?”