To the Editor:
As scientists and scientific enthusiasts, we are well aware of recent national trends which disregard science and abuse rational thought. Thus, we feel it’s necessary to support candidates who understand and value science in our society, and will undoubtedly support scientific education. This is why we are backing Jenny Ludmer, a former scientific analyst and writer, for the Board of Education.
One day a year at Littlebrook Elementary, we’ve seen fascinating things happen. Bees, lasers, bubbles, and goats descend upon the school. It’s not uncommon to hear loud chemistry explosions or see marshmallow peeps expand, while words like “central limit theorem” and “bionic eye” come drifting into the halls. For several years, Jenny has demonstrated her passion for scientific education by organizing this inspiring annual event at Littlebrook Elementary, known simply as the Science Expo.
An event that can only happen in a town like Princeton, the Expo draws science enthusiasts from industry as well as academia, parents as well as community members, into the school for one full day of action. Classes rotate through the school, so that each child participates in at least a dozen 20-minute engaging presentations. The goal is simply to wow kids with science, so they can imagine a future for themselves in this intriguing world. And they do.
Jenny is the willing coordinator of this massive project, eager to work with teachers and parents to make it happen. Pouring her time and energy into this project, literally for weeks and months every spring, a perfectly-orchestrated color-coded schedule is generated for this one day in May that rivals many airport timetables. Scientists expect her to pull it off, teachers know she will make it happen, and principals trust her to lead the day. Every year that we’ve participated in the Expo, we’ve walked away with a profound sense of respect for the school’s daily work, but also the knowledge that science is loved and respected here. And we who have seen her in the trenches know that this would not happen if it were not for Jenny’s efforts, organization, and determination.
Jenny’s long-time commitment to running the Science Expo underscores her view that the future of our community will depend on children that don’t just score well on science tests, memorize facts, or do hours of homework, but on developing children’s sense of wonder and scientific thought. We can see this in every initiative she develops and cultivates, from sustainability efforts — not just in the schools but throughout the community — running the Littlebrook Garden Club, and otherwise speaking out for scientific awareness in the general public.
We believe that with her collaborative approach, fierce determination, and sheer grit, Jenny will be a hands-on and effective board member. Furthermore, with her background in scientific research and analysis, she pledges to thoroughly research and review options so that sound, evidence-based decisions can be made. Please consider Jenny Ludmer when you vote on November 7, and in the meantime, check out her website, LudmerForBOE.org.
Gabrielle Cayton-Hodges PhD,
Amy Rogers, Ohad Mayblum
Forrest Meggers PhD