Three or four times a day, a banana shows up at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, N.J., and complains about a pain in its side, reports the Associated Press. And that means it's time for some visiting kids to dress up like surgeons and scrub nurses, take a scalpel, and go to work. What's happening is that kids are learning about science and enjoying it. To education experts, this is "informal" or "free-choice" science learning, which means it's happening outside of school. The National Academies, a congressionally chartered nonprofit group that advises the federal government, this summer will


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