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10 Tips for Teaching Kids Science
Posted on 16th Feb 2011 | In General Science
Last month in his speech to the nation, President Obama talked about the importance of Science and how the US must not get left behind in science and innovation.
He went on to say:
Here Here Mr. President! So, in honor of the President’s speech, Science With Mom! has created…
10 Tips to Teach Kids Science
C’mon now, YES WE CAN!
(Sorry, I couldn’t resist the worn out catchphrase)
1. Switch off the TV and go outside
When Kids ask “why are you turning off the TV?” you can tell them the President told you to. With warmer weather fast approaching you’ll have no excuse but to head outside and use the environment for some bite-size science.
a) Visit to the local playground: This simple activity can be very informative for the scientifically-minded. You can explain opposites (such as high/low, fast/slow, stop/go, in/out etc.) When pushing kids on a swing you can talk about the feeling of being pushed (a force) and if you throw them up in the air they will always come back to the ground (gravity).
b) Pack a Picnic with your kid. Chat about the different types of food. What is healthy as well as unhealthy and why. Talk about tooth decay. Why milk is good for bones, and potatoes and bread are good ways to fill up. Let your child choose foods with different tastes as well as different textures.
2. Make time for science
Set aside science-time each day (put on your science apron) so your child understands you take science seriously. Make ice-lollies together. Water can be a wonderful leaning tool. During the summer holidays this is a great science activity. You can teach them about concentration, freezing points etc…
3. Assemble a science kit
This doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Just a small waterproof bag where you keep your teaching materials like a magnifying glass, measuring cup, plastic bottles, baking soda, magnets etc… Keeping everything in one place encourages you to do experiments. This way you don’t waste time looking for materials and science doesn’t get put on the long-finger!
If you are too busy to make your own science kit and you have some spare cash you can visit www.sciencekit.com and see all their amazing science product offerings. For example they sell this basic science inquiry kit.
4. Have a Science “Word of the Day”
Place a new science word on your refrigerator every day. Like; photosynthesis or magnetism. Then Google the word or reference sites such as Science With Me! for more information.
Involve your child as you reference these sites. Even if they only retain half of what you read they are still learning the language of science. Keep the language simple and uncomplicated. Just like when learning any new language; take baby steps.
5. Be Spontaneous
Always be willing to have a chat about a scientific concept even in an unusual location. If you go to church you could talk about how heat melts the candles wax or about the pollen in flowers on the alter.
Your child will be so shocked you’re not listening to the gospel that they’ll never forget the science discussed (just kidding). But you get my point. Always be ready to incorporate at every opportunity. This spontaneity will certainly surprise and delight your child.
* Please note: Science With Mom! does not condone talking in church.
6. Chat recall
When you’re driving in the car and stopped at the traffic light you could say “remember when we did that experiment on light and color?” Or if you see trucks salting the roads you can ask your child “do you remember why we put salt on the roads?”
7. Give’m Choice
I don’t know why this works but whenever I give Ali a choice about something it gets her interest up. Pick three fun experiments and let them choose which one they want to do. Hopefully, it will be the one you wanted to do anyway…!
8. Newspapers and TV
Always have you eye out for any big science related story in the news such as an earthquake or oil slick or the fascinating story a few weeks back about the Global Seed Bank in Norway The Svalbard Global Seed Vault.
* The Svalbard Global Seed Vault: is an underground vault in Norway in which all the world seeds are kept in case of global disaster.
9. Make it Fun!
I know this may seem obvious but science gets a bad rap for being, let’s face it, BO-RING! This isn’t the fault of science, but more how it is taught. So try to keep a sense of humor about it. Humor is always a great way to help the learning process.
Ali’s favourite – THE CLASSIC BRIBE. If all else fails, a crisp $10 dollar bill works wonders.
If money is tight perhaps the promise of an edible treat will suffice.
We often use reward systems to get chores and homework done. So why not reward an interest in science?
If they do well in a science project…Heck, reward them!
However, I should say, a psychologist friend of mine did warn me of rewarding with food.
She said it could lead to food “issues” in later life.
Strangely, she had no problem with monetary bribes….hmmmm interesting!
Science With Mom!
Elva O'Sullivan Ph.D is an educator and founder of ScienceWithMe.com She has created over 50 educational science products for the marketplace. To learn more about her and ScienceWithMe!® follow her on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
WOW! Elva O'Sullivan, founder of www.sciencewithme.com has one of the top 10% most viewed LinkedIn profiles for 2012. LinkedIn now has 200 million members. View Elva's profile!
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