Q: I would like my child's class to book a Scientists in School workshop. How can I do this?
A: SiS recommends that you speak to your child's teacher as they may already have a workshop booked. If they are not yet familiar with Scientists in School, our website is a great introduction to our organization, mission and program. You may also wish to share this link to our program catalogues and booking forms PDF downloads: www.scientistsinschool.ca/
RAISING A SCIENTIST
The vast majority of our children will not grow up to become science professionals, but they will grow up in a world that requires scientific literacy and critical thinking skills. That means that every parent should have the goal of raising a scientist, regardless of their child's ultimate career path.
In our world, you are a scientist if you act and think like a scientist. A scientist observes, questions, creates hypotheses, experiments, records data, and then analyses that data. All children can be scientists by following their own natural curiosity. And all parents can help their children in this process.
Scientists in School was founded on the principle that students learn best when they get to be the scientists - doing science instead of just reading or hearing about science. In fact, the name Scientists in School does not refer to the science experts we bring into your child's classroom; rather, it refers to the students themselves. During Scientists in School workshops, your children become scientists in school.
Following are some ideas to help your child become a scientist at home.
Pre-School and Kindergarten-aged Scientists
It's never too early to start raising a scientifically-literate child. Children are naturally curious and will conduct their own experiments enthusiastically. With a little guidance from you, your child can learn a great deal about science even before setting foot in a classroom.
Play is very important for young learners. In fact, play has now been recognized by scientists and educators as critical to children's intellectual development. Scientists in School incorporates play into all of our workshops for our youngest scientists.
The website, Inspiration Laboratories is full of play-based learning ideas and science experiments that you can do with your pre-schooler/kindergartner.
Doing means everything to scientists aged 6-10, so get in there and start doing science with your kids! Our primary grade workshops focus on doing - providing all the equipment and materials necessary to allow children to explore scientific concepts themselves. From catapults to microscopes, Scientists in School puts the science into your child's hands.
But you don't need specialized equipment and materials to be a scientist at home. Many common household items can be used for scientific exploration.
The blog, Mom to 2 Posh Divas has 12 science experiments that you can do at home.
And these construction projects are sure to appeal.
They're at that special age where everything is (you've heard it a thousand times) "boring". Junior-aged scientists need to be challenged. Your best bet is to find the things that they do care about and link your explorations to those things. If you have a hockey-mad son or daughter, challenge them to use science to improve their skating or shooting technique. If your kid is into music, challenge them to explore the physics behind the sound. Got a gamer? Your junior scientist might enjoy these educational applications that provide a good excuse for playing on that device all day.
Looking for more ideas to stimulate your young scientists? Join Scientists in School on social media where we post videos, links, and other great content daily.
Help Your Child Get 'Hooked' on Science
Today's children are growing up in a world where science and technology are integral parts of their everyday lives and the careers that await them. One only has to think of common science-related headlines - global warming, genetically-modified crops, new medical cures, green technologies and more - to know how important a strong education in science is for today's young people.
Parents and caregivers have a particularly influential role in their children's education, especially for children between the ages of two and 15. The good news is that it doesn't take special science teaching skills or training in science to nurture a keen interest among our young learners. Parents can build on their children's natural scientific curiosity by sharing experiences with them such as exploring the outdoors, conducting experiments on the kitchen counter, taking apart household gadgets to see how they work, reading science books and magazines together and even watching science shows on TV. By conveying an interest and excitement for science themselves, parents help instill such excitement in their children.
Looking for tips to help spark scientific interest in your kids? Just visit these areas of our website:
- Links To Science Activities For Your Child
- Resources For Parents and Children
- We'd love to hear your science success stories and you can share them by contacting us here.
Tips for Getting Kids Interested in Science
Do you panic when you child has to do a science project? Does the very thought of science bring back bad memories? Here are some tips to help you get your child interested in science and for you to have fun at the same time ...
Capitalize on your child's natural curiosity!
Children are full of wonder about the world around them. Capture these interests and help bring them to life for your child. If your child likes to watch things 'fizz', do simple at-home experiments to explore chemical reactions. If your child loves bugs, go outside and turn over rocks together to see what's living underneath. The internet is full of ways you can experience the world of science with your child (check our Teacher Resources page for more ideas). Scientists in School's 2010 - 11 Kidz Lab Challenge also provides a great opportunity for you and your child to have fun with science - and make yummy ice cream at the same time! Your child's questions are a great opportunity to discover the answers together. It's never too early to start.
We all know that with TV, computer and video games, kids today often spend too much time inside. One way to help manage the 'screen time' is to give them fun alternatives that get them outside. By providing a simple magnifying glass, pair of binoculars and some age-appropriate nature identification books, you are giving your child ideal tools to explore their own backyard up close and personal. Take a walk together, visit a local park, join a guided hike, or plant your own vegetable garden. You'll be amazed at what you can discover together. An excellent book - Lost Child in the Woods - Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv, winner of the Audubon 2008 Award, provides concrete suggestions for parents looking to infuse more 'green time' in their children's lives.
Show your child that science is everywhere!
Kids sometimes think of science as something somehow separate from their world. Help show them it's part of their everyday life - from the products they use (chemistry, botany and geology) to the air they breathe (ecology and physiology) and the toys they enjoy (technology and physics). Encourage them to think about science or technology as a future career. If you know a scientist or engineer, have him or her spend time with your child telling them about the cool things they do. Have your family doctor explain to your child how their body works. The more we can make science 'real' to our kids, the better, and the more heightened their interest will be.
Encourage 'science recreation'
Our society places a big emphasis on getting children involved in sports and the arts. Why not science? There are so many ways to involve your child in science as part of his/her recreational activities. Host a science-themed birthday party, enroll your child in robotics camp or get your child a cool modeling kit as a gift. It's easy to encourage science or technology as a hobby and girls enjoy these things as much as boys. There are also some wonderful science-focused shows on television that can help to spark their interest.
Above all, send a positive message about science to your child ...
Kids value their parent's opinion. Your enthusiasm towards science can open up a whole new world for them. Join your child in their class when SiS visits, show excitement when they bring home a science project and be jealous about their field trip to the science centre. You'll be amazed how they respond.
JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST
Interested in doing some science activities at home? Why not try these:
FOUR REASONS WHY CANADA NEEDS MORE YOUNG PEOPLE THINKING ABOUT SCIENCE
- We've had some world-class scientific innovations like the Blackberry over the past quarter century but not nearly enough. This is reflected in the Conference Board of Canada's 2009 Report Card which gave our nation a 'D' for Innovation, despite an 'A' for Education. Scientific and technological research are not only the foundation for innovation but also key to our future prosperity.
- In terms of the percentage of graduates with degrees in science and engineering, Canada ranks 24th of 35 OECD nations for undergraduate degrees and 23rd of 34 nations for doctorates, according to the OECD Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard 2009.
- Sound science and environmental appreciation are critical to addressing and reversing our serious environmental challenges.
- Females remain strongly under-represented in physics, technology, math, computer science and engineering faculties both in college and university, yet these fields can open doors to a wide range of interesting jobs and careers.