I have lots of ideas for changing the way school is set up. I want school to be less like sitting and memorizing facts from a textbook and more like working in my basement.
Jack Andraka loves science and he has the awards to prove it. Having won countless awards at regional, national and international science fairs, his most celebrated is award is for discovering a test for early detection of pancreatic cancer.
Jack Andraka's notoriety in the field of science and now popular culture I think is a testament to his passion and determination. As you read his story, he doesn't strike you as a kid with any particular genius. He's just a regular kid who just happens to be hard working and passionate about science, which is what makes him so relateable.
I love that the book ended in a way that helps readers see why Jack has had this platform thrust upon him and gained such notoriety in the public eye. He is a wonderful spokesperson for STEM education and also education in general -- reminding teachers to bring a sense of joy and curiosity in the classroom rather than simply coverage of curriculum. I found it more than just a bit ironic that despite the fact that Jack had just won an international science competition that his teacher still made him make up a science test he missed while he was gone. The kid just discovered a way to detect pancreatic cancer before it becomes terminal and you're going to make him take a biology test? That seems rather counterproductive and short-sighted to me.
Overall, I really enjoyed Jack's story and I could definitely see putting this book in my classroom library and handing it to a student with an interest in science.
Breakthrough: How One Teen Innovator is Changing the World by Jack Andraka with Matthew Lysiak
Published: March 10, 2015
Audience: Young Adult
Disclosure: Audiobook download provided by publisher
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