Proven ways to teach kids science that increase curiosity
All children are scientists in the making! They are naturally curious about the world around them. Toddlers like to touch, grab, drop, or even eat anything that they lay their eyes on. Such exploratory and sometimes destructive learning, lets them know more about the world around them. And this is more or less how science enquires into the mysteries of nature.
Understandably, as adults, we prefer things to be more orderly for our children. We try to control any destructive form of play and instead try to buy our children safe toys to play with. Toys may keep a child entertained, or even educate them, but they may eventually reduce the curiosity in young kids about the nature around them. In schools, with a heavy emphasis on textbooks, this curiosity is reduced further, leading to a feeling of disconnect. Worried that this may affect the career of a child, parents start searching for ways to mitigate the situation.
Don’t worry, it’s never too late to regenerate the interest of your kids in science. So in this article, we want to share some easy tips that you can implement in your day-to-day interaction with your child.
Encourage your child to ask “why” and “how”:
(Image: Sample of materials required to create a natural water filter at home)
Children are curious about everything around them. They learn on their own by observing and understanding their environment. So, encourage them to ask more questions while growing up.
There might be some questions that you don’t have the answer to. In such situations, rather than just brushing them aside, help them find an answer to it. A simple way can be to look it up on the internet with you by their side. Parents’ assistance in web browsing is important, especially if they are very young. It helps them in identifying trustworthy websites.
Find some videos that give a demonstration of various scientific phenomena. For example, while studying the concept of electrostatic charge, help them understand it better through a demonstration. You can do this by running a plastic comb through your hair, and then placing it near small pieces of paper. This will show how a charge develops on material due to friction. Help them learn by watching and doing. Even without a science competition or exhibition coming up, encourage them to create simple projects to understand science. For example, guide them to create a natural water filter using sand, stones, and charcoal to understand Earth science in a better way.
Do a science nature walk:
Due to COVID 19, this practice may not be feasible for everyone. However, even if you go for a brisk walk in the morning, take your child with you and discuss your surroundings.
For example, if it’s a rainy day, discuss how clouds are formed or how weather departments measure rain. Conversations like these will help your child develop an interest in science, as now they can relate to what is taught in their school.
Speak positively about science:
Children easily pick up perspectives from the people around them. So if they see that the adults or their older family members believe that science is difficult or not everyone’s cup of tea, they will start believing that too. So it is important to be careful about how we talk about science when children are around.
Even if you are not pursuing a career in science, do not support stereotypes like ‘it is only for the really smart ones. Instead, help them overcome their fear of science. Help them believe that science is based on a consistent and logical framework. Anyone who has the right foundations and the will to put in the required amount of time and effort can excel in it.
Creating and sustaining students’ interest in science has been a consistent challenge for parents and teachers alike. A child’s attitude towards science plays an important role in how likely he/ she performs in this subject and if they will pursue a science-related career. Nevertheless, skills derived from studying science, like problem-solving and critical thinking are transferable and will be helpful in the future, no matter which path they choose.
Remember, it’s never too early or late to help them fall in love with science. Of course, the earlier you can foster a positive attitude towards science, the better they will be able to embrace science and excel at it.
At LEAD Powered Schools:
- Lessons are imparted by world-class teachers using the dedicated LEAD Student App that comes loaded with detailed lesson plans and audio-visual resources.
- Conceptual clarity is developed in Math and Science using the Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract approach to Math and the ‘Learning by Doing’ approach to Science.
- Every child is catered uniquely with customised remedial classes based on continuous assessment.
- Sync between teachers, parents and the school for the unified goal of the student’s academic excellence is ensured.
- Experiential learning in EVS encourages students to apply their knowledge in real-life scenarios.
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