Earlier this month, almost 70 teens from the South Florida area gathered at Miami Science Museum for a session on critical thinking and decision-making, and how it shapes global opinion, hosted by the Museum’s newest ambassador group, the MiaSci Teen Ambassadors. Guest speaker, and famed Florida International University journalism and communications professor, Dr. Fred Blevens, discussed the emerging discipline of news literacy and how it influences judgment and ideas.
“Working with the MiaSci Teen Ambassadors program was the highlight of my fall,” said Dr. Blevens. “It was a perfect place to start getting young people to think critically about the deluge of information around them and to understand why privacy is important in their lives. The kids in the program were engaged and engaging, smart and fun. An experience I’ll never forget.”
Attendees, which included many students from the Museum’s Upward Bound program, mulled over important questions such as: How can you tell what’s true and what’s not? Do you know that lying is most likely the result of someone keeping a secret? Dr. Blevens helped the students learn to think critically about information, and how one can get at the closest version of the truth possible.
“This was a great session. It’s wonderful that the Museum is offering programming designed specifically for teens,” said Alexander Futernick, MiaSci Teen Ambassador board member. “I learned that in order for our thoughts to be objective, we must think critically about the information presented and analyze it to remove bias. I’m looking forward to the next session on College Prep!”
The Miami Science Museum Teen Ambassadors are comprised of students from Miami-Dade and Broward Counties who have an interest in the sciences and their community. This group was formed in order to showcase, highlight and share with other teenagers all the great happenings the Museum has to offer. The Teen Ambassadors will host a series of events at the Museum, including various focus sessions geared toward college prep, community involvement, sustainability and more. Each focus session will also include interactive activities and challenges throughout a different area of the Museum, including the Planetarium, Wildlife Center (supported by the Batchelor Foundation), Sea Lab, Energy Tracker and more.
The next event, “College Prep & Professionals Meet & Greet,” with special guest speaker Felix Dominguez from the Museum’s Upward Bound program, is scheduled for January 2012 at the Museum.
To learn more about the MiaSci Teens, visit: http://www.miamisci.org/events/teens/
This article was written in collaboration with Tanner Steslow, member of the MiaSci Teen Ambassador Board.