Peru State College - Peruvian Yearbook (Peru, NE)

 - Class of 1917

Page 189 of 302


Peru State College - Peruvian Yearbook (Peru, NE) online yearbook collection, 1917 Edition, Page 189 of 302
Page 189 of 302

Peru State College - Peruvian Yearbook (Peru, NE) online yearbook collection, 1917 Edition, Page 188
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Peru State College - Peruvian Yearbook (Peru, NE) online yearbook collection, 1917 Edition, Page 190
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Page 189 text:

 Why should science he classed as an essential, rather than simply as a desirable feature of education? Look at life. Nearly everything that differentiates the age and civilization in which we live, from all others—barring applied Christianity alone—is the product of scientific accomplishment. The steamship, airship, railroad, submarine, automobile, gas engine, dynamo, motor, telegraph, telephone, wireless communication, phonograph, moving picture, microscope, telescope, spectroscope, machinery, therapeutics, architecture, mechanics, the marvelous forces of steam, gas, electricity, explosives, etc., are but a few of the miracles science has performed, and is still performing for mankind. Science touches and transforms every phase of life today. The structure and functions of the bodies we inhabit, the food we cat, the clothes we wear, the materials and forces we handle—every activity of this marvelously active age. To be ignorant of science is to he out of touch with life and the world in which we live. How do these facts square with the school curricula of our state? Just how much science do you have to have in order to graduate from the average high school, normal school and college? The world has recently paid tribute to the wonderful efficiency and industrial accomplishments of the German people, and it has rightly attributed this to the diffusion of scientific knowledge in that empire. Their high schools are safd to require two years each of physics, chemistry, and biology. Do we not teach these sciences? Oh yes, in the universities, and incidentally America has as eminent scientists as Germany, or any other country. America, indeed, has led the world in scientific discovery and invention. Secretary Lane asserts that two-thirds of the epoch-making discoveries and inventions of the last fifty years have been made in America. The trouble with our educational system is not with its superstructure, but with its foundations. It is interesting to note that Germany has made suprisingly few of the great scientific discoveries and inventions of the past or present, as compared with America, Kngland or France, but she utilizes the discoveries of others to an astonishing extent. Their monster cannon, machine guns, telescopic sights, explosives, aeroplanes, submarines, torpedoes, automobiles, gas engines, coal tar dyes, etc., were invented elsewhere—but “made in Germany.” The reason for this is the German business man. financier, banker, etc., have all had something of a scientific training, and so appreciates the importance of discoveries and inventions, that do not appeal at all to the American business man, because he knows next to nothing about science and scientific principles. America needs a wide diffusion of scientific knowledge thru the output of its schools, rather than scientific experts, which she already has. What claim has Chemistry among the sciences? Science as a whole is not a pyramid of stones, this block labeled biology, that physics, but a living organism, with each department of science bearing a vital relation to the great body of scientific knowledge. Physics and chemistry are the fundamental sciences, not simply the branches, the flowers, the fruit or leaves of the tree of knowledge, but are like the fibrovascular and cambium systems of the tree that nourish and contribute to the development of the w hole organism. Physics is the science which treats of matter and energy, with the emphasis on energy. Chemistry is the science which treats of matter and energy, with the emphasis on matter. Both are fundamental to all sciences. Anything that concerns matter, 9 7

Page 188 text:

herself since the driver had made no move to, when this most discourteous driver started off. Betty caught herself looking hack in the direction from which they had come and several moments passed before she was conscious of her companion talking to her. “He’s only been in the West fer four years now. His name is Robert Stillman an’ he’s the dam engineer. Seem’s like a good nuf fellow, even tho he is one of them college high breds.” All this made Betty the more curious. Where in the East had he lived and what college had he attended ? As this cowpunchcr was trying to answer her incessant flow of questions, they neared the town of Crimson Gulch. Was this the place in which she was to live for nine months? How could she ever endure it? If she had only met Mr. Stillman she was sure that things would have proved more interesting, hut there was nothing to do now but make the best of it. . . . It was Friday afternoon and a quarter holiday at the school so Betty started home early. She was not her usual cheerful self—she had a headache and she thought she was a little homesick. She followed a path to the very top of a hill. T he sun was shining down fiercely but the breeze was cool. She walked along not interested in what she saw and thinking it was rather a waste of time, when suddenly she recognized that pleasant voice which she had heard before saying—“Are you lost. Miss West?” “No, Mr. Stillman," she replied. Then they looked at each other and laughed, shook hands and Bob said, “Now that we are formally introduced, may I walk with you ?” “If you can help me run away from my homesickness, I shall be more than pleased.” “Are you afflicted with that awful malady, too? Well, what do you know about that! We’ll have to form a society for homesick New Yorkers, won’t we?" asked Bob. “And say, let’s have the membership limited to two." “Hey git some action in there," yelled the director and the camera man was scowling as he ground out the film. “Don’t you know this is the finis?” Chemistry atth the Citrrtritlnm There is a wide-spread conviction that all is not well with the courses in our public schools and colleges. It is something more than a jest, that our graduates are unfitted rather than fitted for the workaday world, the world in which ninety-nine and nine tenths per cent of us live. By this is meant the world of thot, of society, and civic life, as well as the world of industry. When there is a radical difference between transactions of life, and of the curricula of our schools, there is something wrong with life or educational systems, and one may be pardoned for suspecting that it is not life that is awry. The trouble with the curricula makers, is the failure to distinguish essentials and desirables from non-essentials in education, and to put first things first—first in time, first in importance, and first in their insistence upon our attention. S 7

Page 190 text:

y hrt v ar? irs transformations, and the forces involved is chemical. Chemistry permeates ami activates every part of the great body of science, industry and world-activity. One can not he an efficient farmer without a knowledge of chemistry. The composition and test of soils and fertilizers, the nature and effects of sprays and germicides are chemical in nature. Domestic science is dependent upon chemistry for the preparation, preservation and testing of its foods, the purification of water, cleaning and disinfectants, etc. Botany and Zoology without Chemistry, is like the drama Hamlet, with Hamlet left out. Biology tho a great world in itself, is almost entirely biochemistry. One must he a very superficial physiologist without a knowledge of the nature of the hundred and one life processes of the body, digestion, nutrition, metabolism, muscular and nervous action, and the multitudinous catalysts, enzymes, and activators of the glandular. alimentary and circulatory systems, all of which are chemical agents or chemical actions, if you delve into the earth, you will find chemistry regnant there in the principles and processes of mineralogy, geology, and assaying. If you ascend into the heavens, you will find Astro-Physics the chief department of modern astronomy. Spectrum analysis of the sun and stars, the remarkable use of celestial photography, and recent evidences of the evolution of terrestrial elements in the proto-elements and solar radioactivity, are some of the wonderful applications of chemistry to the study of heavenly bodies. Chemistry is dominant in industry, engineering and manufacturing today, and is destined to become increasingly so in the future. The processes of fermentation, conservation, bleaching and dyeing, and the production of soap, paints, dyes, explosives, concrete, alloys and steel are chemical and chemical only. I hink what modern industry would be and do without tungsten or vanadium and other varieties of steel, making possible modern architecture with its skyscrapers and its miracles of bridge building. Is it of more value, cultural or otherwise, to get a conception of Caesar’s rickety structure across the Rhine, or of the marvelous suspension and cantilever bridges found in all parts of the world? In the field of medicine, chemistry has been without a serious rival since there was a science and art of medicine. What would the medical world do today without the anesthetics, antidotes, antiseptics and the thousand therapeutic agents it owes to chemistry? Chemistry adds hundreds of millions of dollars to the annual output of the world’s industry in the conservation of waste products alone. It has been estimated that by the application of scientific processes, an average beef from the slaughter houses would he worth $2,500.00, all but five per cent of which comes from chemically treated by-products. If "lie is a benefactor, who makes two blades of grass grow where hut one grew before.” what shall we sav of the chemist who makes one beef worth thirty as they come from the farm? How does this transaction of industry, life and world-activity in its evaluation of chemistry, compare with our school curricula? W hich is right ? 1917

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