There is a great need to foster a love of science in our children. Literature, math, history, and the arts are important, of course, but science is the future. If we don’t engage our children in science and encourage them to learn and explore, where does that leave us for the future?
There are many different ways to engage children in learning about science, depending on the age of the students. For younger students, simple hands-on experiments with cause and effect reactions are enough to get them thinking scientifically and asking why something happens. There are also a lot of scientifically-based television shows and even YouTube videos that are geared towards younger children. These shows introduce scientific concepts in terms that young minds can grasp.
When students are a little bit older (8-10 years old), there are even more ways to encourage a love of science in students. At this age, they are ready to start doing some experimentation on their own, with proper supervision, of course. They are also old enough to begin learning about the scientific method and completing science projects on their own. They can make their own hypothesis and draw their final conclusions based on what they have learned. Science projects are also a great way to integrate other subjects such as grammar and art into one final product.
If secondary school students aren’t already excited about science and technology, now is the time to show them why they should be. Now is the time to pull out all of the stops, use technology, independent learning, field trips, and visits with actual scientists to show them why science is interesting and important. Secondary school students are starting to think about the jobs they might like to have and there are many career fields that are heavily involved in science.
With independent learning, you can allow the students to choose subjects that they are already interested in and want to learn more about. Help them find the resources they need to gain an in-depth understanding of whatever that may be. Another way to encourage an interest in science is to have your students find interesting scientific news and then discuss in class why it is interesting and important. Field trips are another great way to engage students in science. If possible, take them to labs, hospitals, and museums. If it’s not possible to visit the facilities in person, show them what science and technology have created…virtual field trips! Find science and technology professionals who are willing to come and speak to your students and explain what they do and the type of education you would need for a similar career.
When it comes to teaching science to students, it is so important to make it exciting, interactive, and fun. There is no longer a need for a science class to consist of dry lectures followed by written essays and exams. There is so much more that you can do to teach the concepts in a way that students will enjoy and remember. Always keep in mind that you are teaching the scientists of our future!