How to Motivate Kids to Love Science
Science can be an interesting subject for kids to fall in love with, as long as it is presented to them in the right context. The key to getting kids of all ages to love science is to start by considering the age of the children. For instance, if you present scientific theory and concepts in lecture format to youngsters, chances are they are going to become quickly disinterested in science. On the other hand, if you provide them with hands-on activities and ask intuitive questions, like “What do you think will happen when …” it better engages youngsters and gets them interested. While they might not understand that you are teaching them how to form a hypothesis, most youngsters are inquisitive and will respond with what they imagine will occur. Afterwards, once the hands-on activities are completed and the children realize the actual outcomes, it is best to discuss this with them. Ask probing questions, like “Why do you think that happened instead of … ?” If the child made the incorrect hypothesis, it is important to teach them to realize their initial guess at the outcome may not be what occurred, but that is perfectly acceptable when learning science. Sometimes outcomes will be different from what we expected based upon the information we had. Another important concept, when teaching children science, is to avoid jumping from one concept to another in quick succession. Kids, teenagers, and even some adults do not retain the information if they are taught in this manner. It is much more efficient to spend a longer length of time on a basic concept and slowly build upon it with repetitive lessons. It also does not hurt to repeat the same experiments and hands-on activities several times. Once all kids understand what the outcome will be, use the same basic experiment or activity, but vary it slightly so that it might have a different outcome. You could even provide kids with a scientific notebook to record their outcomes for different experiments. For example, a common experiment that is fun for young kids is mixing baking soda with vinegar. Not all kids will be able to hypothesis these will “bubble up” when mixed together. To further enhance the concepts of bases and acids, you could try introducing other child-friendly substances and varying the experiment with the new substances. For older students, keeping them engaged in science is not always as fun as it was in grade school. There are more lectures and development of scientific concepts. Even still, teens and college students can benefit from interactive and hands-on instruction where they will receive immediate feedback of the outcomes. Again, afterwards, it is essential for peers and teachers to discuss the outcomes and why they occurred. By following the same basic instructional methods used for grade schoolers, teens and college students will continue to love science. To obtain official laboratory and student notebooks for your science students, please feel free to contact Scientific Notebook Company today by calling 800.537.3028.