Science is a subject that can seem intimidating to learn. Because of this, there is a reluctance to learn about the subject and some students may even strongly dislike the subject. Making science fun will not only make it understandable, it will create an interest in learning. Taking the stigma out of science can make it something students will enjoy. Making science fun can include:
- Hands-on Activities
- Showing How Science Relates to Real Life
- A Multidisciplinary Approach
- Being Creative
Field trips, lab work and projects add life to a course that is dominated by textbook work. There is an array of activities that can illustrate science principles. Make magic in chemistry class by demonstrating what different types of chemical interactions can create. Adding scientific games, model making and multimedia activities are a few ways to infuse fun into the subject.
Show Real Life Use of Scientific Principles
Science is filled with theories and formulas. Unfortunately, the highly-technical aspects may not spark an interest in some people or can get lost in translation for others. Put the theories and formulas into context. A reason science is difficult to learn has to do with the fact that students cannot relate. It can be hard to learn something when the concepts are not understood. Explain the scientific connection of what is learned in class to everyday life. Not only will this make it interesting, but students will have fun discovering that they are surrounded by science.
Take a Multidisciplinary Approach
Some students may enjoy a multidisciplinary approach. Discuss the time period when a particular discover was made. For example, talking about Louis Pasteur’s discoveries and how they were revolutionary at the time and the effects they have on the world. Another idea is to incorporate the use of journals. Journals will not only help to reinforce the material, it helps teach writing skills.
Remember that science is being taught to students that may not be science oriented. Integrate a creative approach. Label common ingredients with scientific names and devise experiments where students get to see the scientific process behind common activities. People tend to remember things that standout. Creating fun mnemonics can help with material memorization. Also, add humor to science. An unexpected dose of humor helps make science seem more approachable.
Science does not have to be boring, or a subject that causes anxiety for those that learn it. Taking a creative, fun and hands-on approach can ignite and interest in science. Following these tips to making science fun will not only make the material enjoyable, it will help students learn.
About the Author
Jo Harris is a writer and the Director of Content for the Morgan Law Firm,
an Austin, Texas divorce firm.
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Time is something that we have trouble keeping track of. Keeping accurate time is virtually impossible for the average person, but thanks to atomic clocks, we all can be in sync with the world. Our first Science in the News for this school year is entitled Keeping Accurate Time with Atomic Clocks. It helps students understand why accurate time is important and how complex it is to be so precise. This article is a preview of the Measurements issue of Spigot Science for Kids and Classrooms, which will be published in October.
To help teachers use this tool effectively, vocabulary, comprehension, research topics, and an activity are included with the article.
Science in the News is published monthly from September to May. Premium members of Spigot Science may download this and any of the other of the 13 articles to use with students. If you are not a Premium member, you can receive a significant discount on membership for a short time. Check out the details on the Spigot Science web site and sign up today!
Give her the vocabulary to describe the problem and talk about her feelings. One of the first steps in problem solving is being able to define the problem, including telling the other person how you feel. When children are young you are able to guess at how they may be feeling in different circumstances and verbalize their feelings for them. For example, when an infant struggles to reach a toy that’s out of reach you can say, “You’re frustrated that you can’t reach the toy.” When a toddler begins to cry after a favorite truck is taken away by a playmate you can say, “It makes you angry when Sam takes your truck away from you without asking first.” When a preschooler gets ignored by a group of kids on the playground you can say, “I bet you feel sad when other kids don’t give you the chance to play with them.” As children get older, they will be able to describe the situation they’re facing and how they feel about it. This is the first step in working towards a solution.
Give her choices from an early age. Kids that have strong problem solving skills think in terms of options. When you ask your child if she’d rather wear shorts or a skirt to school, if she’d like eggs, waffles, or yogurt for breakfast, or if she’d like to go to the park before or after she finishes her homework, you’re showing her that there are many answers to most questions. Instead of simply telling her what her next move should be, you’re encouraging her to think about the pros and cons of each choice and then make the choice that best meets the needs of situation. So when she’s faced with a problem she’s more likely to think about the possibilities that are available and not simply look to you or another person to solve the problem for her.
Practice problem solving in calm situations. Problem solving is a learned skill. Like other skills, the more kids practice it the better they become at it. Offering children ongoing opportunities to solve problems that don’t have a strong emotional charge is an effective way to teach them the process of assessing the situation, coming up with possible solutions, and deciding on the best approach. The good news is that your child brings you lots of non-emotionally charged problems throughout the day, although they may not look like problems on the surface. They usually look like “How do I do that?” questions. For example, your preschooler may say, “I want to bring my pony collection to show and tell tomorrow but I can’t find it.” Instead of asking her when she last played with it or suggesting she look in the black bin in the play room say, “You want to bring your collection to school but you don’t know where it is. Hum, what ideas do you have to solve that problem?” Kids love to come up with creative ideas that they can act on. Maybe she’ll make a map of where she played yesterday, maybe she’ll search each room from right to left or maybe she’ll ask her older sister if she’s seen it. The ideas she comes up with are less important than the process she’s learning to use.
Talk in positive language. Attitude means a lot when it comes to solving problems. When children are surrounded by positive talk it becomes a habit for them too. They look to the possibilities of a situation rather than the obstacles or limitations.
Model problem solving skills in your own life. Like most things, the best way to teach great problem solving skills is to model them for your child. Instead of figuring things out in your head, talk through even the smallest problems that you face throughout the day. This will give your child a good feel for the process, help her understand how brainstorming works, and show her that if Solution A doesn’t work out, you move onto Solution B then Solution C. By modeling this type of behavior you can teach her how to solve problems with a positive attitude.
Kids that have good problem solving skills are well equipped to deal with the problems that regularly come up in everyday life. Armed with a positive attitude and a solid understanding of the process, they can successfully tackle the challenges that they may face.
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