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The Young Scientists: America's Future and the Winning of the Westinghouse

The Young Scientists: America's Future and the Winning of the Westinghouse

by Joseph R. Berger, Leon M. Lederman (Other)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
By examining the schooling and family background of a dozen winners of the annual Westinghouse Science Talent search, New York Times journalist Berger hopes to illuminate ``what works in science education.'' The Westinghouse, begun in 1941, selects 40 winners every year from among the projects submitted by as many as 1700 high school students. Among Berger's detailed profiles of recent winners are young people of various social status; indeed, one of the few factors that can be isolated in a Westinghouse winner is the work ethic as a necessary condition for early achievement in science. Berger also observes that immigrant families with a ``frontier spirit'' have produced a disproportionate number of winners. The teachers and students Berger interviewed are earnest and dedicated and their success stories are inspiring, but no deeper analysis is offered in this anecdotal overview. For a full pedagogy and programmatic approach to the subject, readers should see John Cronyn's recently published Uncommon Sense . (Jan.)
Library Journal
New York Times bureau chief and education writer Berger focuses here on an unusual and too-little-noticed group of high schools and students: those who have won the prestigious Westinghouse Science Talent Search. Interweaving the stories of dozen of previous winners, their teachers, and their mentors, Berger aims both to honor and to demystify the contest and the schools that produce the lion's share of the winners, many of whom go on to win Nobel Prizes and the like. Though not intended as such, this book is a sort of primer on old-fashioned teaching, emphasizing dedication, resourcefulness, the spirit of inquiry. Indeed, many of the high school science teachers who produce winners are astonishingly ``average'' in science. Thus, this book is worth a dozen government reports on what's ``wrong'' with science education. A minor flaw--if it is one--is the New York Times -ese writing style, which tends to pall but which certainly makes the book accessible.-- Mark L. Shelton, Athens, Ohio
The education writer for The New York Times investigates the characteristics of the young people who have won the prestigious Westinghouse award for science--their personal qualities, their education, and the family support they've received. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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6.42(w) x 9.49(h) x 1.02(d)
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