Tales from the “Olden Days”

By Debra Kirby

You know those stories adults like to tell kids about how much harder they had it when they were young? Like having to walk uphill for miles in the snow to school every day or having parents who made you eat every morsel of food on your plate – even liver. The message behind these stories of course, is to get listeners to appreciate how good they have it compared to life in the “olden days.” Working on  our exciting new 3D product Gale Interactive: Science recently got me thinking about how much I hated  biology labs, where I was actually expected to do such disgusting things as dissect frogs (never mind the horrid smell of formaldehyde) and how kids today can dissect a virtual frog instead if they have access to a product like Gale Interactive: Science.

Gale Interactive: Science brings science to life in a hands-on way that I couldn’t even imagine when I was a student. You can explore a cave or a volcano – diving deep inside to examine and learn about the various components. Manipulate the parts of microorganisms, plants, planets, the human body and other objects to better understand things that are otherwise not visible. You can explore the interactive periodic table and use the chemistry tools to manipulate chemical reactions. And along with each activity comes a wealth of reference information and even quizzes that students can take to test their understanding.

Looking back, I have to wonder if my educational path might have been different If I had had access to a tool like Gale Interactive: Science when I was a student. After my biology lab experience, I shied away from science courses until college, where I finally developed a real love for science.

Full confession: I never did have to dissect the frog since I was able to bribe my lab partner to do the deed without my assistance, but I swear I can still smell the formaldehyde! And about that liver — I’m now a vegetarian.

What educational tools do you wish you had access to when you were a student, and how might they have impacted your education and career?

Megan McCarthy

About the Author

When Debra, a 30-year veteran of the publishing industry, is not working or reading, she can be found gardening, running, swimming, or “motivating” the students attending her early morning spinning classes at the local YMCA by sharing lame puns and quiz questions.



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