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SU biology professor makes science learning fun on new WAER radio segment
SU biology professor makes science learning fun on new WAER radio segmentFebruary 07, 2006Carol K. Masiclatclkim@syr.eduHow does a ball point pen work? What does science have to do with Valentine’s Day? What’s different about Einstein’s brain? Listeners of WAER Jazz 88 (FM 88.3) will learn the answers to these questions and many more when they tune into “Science on the Radio,” a new 90-second science information segment featuring Marvin Druger, chair of the Department of Science Teaching and professor of biology and science education at Syracuse University. The segment made its debut on Feb. 7.
One of SU’s best-known professors, Druger brings his vast science expertise and charisma to the general public via the airwaves of WAER for a bi-weekly dose of science education. “Science on the Radio” airs twice a day on Tuesday and Thursday on WAER. Each segment, hosted by Druger, addresses a different topic in science, ranging from avian flu to space flight in a highly informative but entertaining format. The segments air at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
“WAER is pleased to work with Dr. Druger to develop ‘Science on the Radio,'” says Ron Ockert, director of programming and operations at WAER. “Dr. Druger’s wealth of knowledge and his enthusiastic personality lend to a unique and interesting program. We welcome the opportunity to bring science with a local and regional perspective to our audience.” The concept for ‘Science on the Radio’ was conceived by Druger, who works with Newhouse student Rembert C. de Rohan ’07 to produce the segment.
This is not Druger’s first foray into radio. For 13 years, he hosted “Druger’s Zoo,” an information and interview program that aired on WAER from 1972-1985. Onthe program, Druger interviewed various people in the Syracuse community to learn about their lifestyles and jobs.
Druger teaches general biology to hundreds of SU students every semester. But that doesn’t mean his classes are boring. There are no long, dry lectures or snoozing students in his classes. He describes his class, Biology 121, as “adventures in life.” With boundless creativity and energy, Druger strives to make students understand how the principles and processes of biology affect their everyday lives. His approach to teaching science focuses on engaging students and getting them excited about understanding the world, not just memorizing facts and figures. “I like to focus on life. Biology is life, and life is biology,” says Druger.
With more than 50 years of teaching under his belt, Druger knows what it takes to get people interested in learning science. He has taught more than 40,000 students and has been president of three national organizations, including the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), the largest science education organization in the world. Druger has been awarded several honors, including the 2000 Robert H. Carleton Award for National Leadership in the Field of Science Education, the highest award given by the NSTA.
“I want to give listeners a positive experience with science in an informative and humorous way,” says Druger, whose goal for the segment is to reach the general public and encourage science literacy. “I plan to balance information with entertainment and possibly bring some local science news to the radio. We at ‘Science on the Radio’ want people to know more and get interested, because science is everywhere!”