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Elementary Science

Benefits of Hands on Activities

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Marbel Rodriguez Marbel Rodriguez 175 Points

What do students learn from doing hands on actvities ? 

Monica Gallegos Monica Gallegos 660 Points

When doing hands on activities, students learn not only how to do things on their own, but they are also able to create their own experiments and findings. It is important for us as teacher to let them figure things out on their own for they might utilize what they are doing in the near future. It helps them build a connection with how things work in the real-world. 


Taylor Runchey Taylor Runchey 1005 Points


Hello! This topic is so important within science education. Your question is very helpful in getting us to think about WHY we use certain learning approaches. I think hands-on activities create stimulating, attention-grabbing environments for students, as many people have already touched on in their replies to your question. As elementary science educators, we can have a huge impact on how students will perceive and approach science going forward. A great strategy for building life-long scientists is to provide opportunities where students can form their own personal connections to the learning. Kolb’s Theory of Experiential Learning (1984) tells us that real experiences (such as hands-on science activities) allow for deeper reflection and association with other parts of our lives. Students create memories through hands-on activities that they wouldn’t through other means, such as readings or worksheets. These memories correspond to content, which is crucial in the development of excitement, retention, and confidence regarding science!

Thank you for your question to get us thinking!

Taylor Runchey

Wartburg College, 3rd Year, Pre-Service Teacher

Rebekah Gershenoff Rebekah Gershenoff 1360 Points

Hi Marbel, 

My name is Beka Gershenoff and I am a third-year Elementary Education major at Wartburg College. Students learn so many different things from doing hands-on activities. They retain so much more information when they can physically see what they are working on. For example, say you are teaching students the base ten systems. Students will be able to grasp the idea much quicker if they can have tools in their hands representing different values rather than memorizing and learning information in their brains. Another great thing about hands-on activities is that it helps students relate what they are learning to real-world activities in which they participate. This gives them a reason to keep learning and keeps them excited about learning and remembering it. Another great thing about hands-on activities is that it keeps school fun for students. So much of school is sitting in a chair and having information thrown at you, these types of activities keep things light and exciting. Students are still kids, they need to play and have fun and these type of activities will incorporate that for them. I absolutely love hands-on activities and think that they should be a part of everyday learning. 

Hope this helps! 

Beka Gershenoff 

Wartburg 2024

Nancy Gonzalez Nancy Gonzalez 810 Points

I believe that conducting hands-on activities is very beneficial to students because many students learn from experience. Conducting hands-on activities also helps students retain information better because they participated versus sitting and just listening to the teacher's lecture. 

Karina Barrera Karina Barrera 840 Points

Hello Marbel. Students can benefit so much from this type of instruction. Hands-on learning allows students to learn through experience and observation to utilize problem solving and critical thinking skills to complete a task. 

Marissa Lopez Marissa Lopez 635 Points

Students learn that the hands-on activities can be applied to real-world situations and they stimulate memory as they do them for later use. 

Natalie Navarro Natalie Navarro 490 Points

Hands on activities are a perfect way to ensure that students are learning and understanding concepts that arent easily understandable through lectures and powerpoints. There are some students that are Kinaesthetic learners and need the hands on activites to learn what is being taught. These types of activites benefit the students cause it prepeares them for real world situations and understanding of our environment. 

Matt Bobrowsky Matt Bobrowsky 6410 Points

The best way to have students experience the exciting adventure that science is, is to have them actually DO science.  And that means doing hands-on activities that keep the students engaged in exploration and discovery.

Kristin Preast Kristin Preast 1670 Points

Hands on activities really helps students be scientists. They can find things, manipulate things, and explore what they can. I feel like this is a great way to get them engaged in learning and keeps them busy in the classroom.

Jennifer Guerra Jennifer Guerra 260 Points

Doing hands on activities faciliatates the learning process for many students. Keeping them engaged in the experiment is more benefecial for them because they get to apply what they are learning to their activity. It also encourages them to think independently and lets their minds grow.

Elyse Juarez Elyse Juarez 725 Points

Hello! The importance of hands on activities is for students to learn with being independent, using their creative minds, deeper connections, and working with classmates. When students work together on hands-on activities, they are developing social skills that will be very beneficial in the future. Students love to engage in the classroom, that is when the fun stuff happens! Along with hands-on, students are learning from the reflection of doing. It is very important to focus on the needs of your students while working independently as well! I hope this helped!

Anna Orr Anna Orr 200 Points

Hands on activities are the most effective activities when it comes to science. Students have to be creative and come up with new ideas or strategies. These activites will let your students physically see what they are learning about, instead of just reading the words off of a page. 

Emily Cieplensky Emily Cieplensky 260 Points

Hands on activities are so important for students learning because they are able to get involved in the lesson. The students will be able to make observations while completing the activity rather than the teacher just modeling the lesson. Also, these types of activities can allow students to work with others which can build their social skills. Some students may not pay attention to a teacher lecturing, so getting them involved in the lesson will ensure they are actively learning. 

Haley Jacobsen Haley Jacobsen 820 Points

Hello Marbel!

    Hands-on activities are great for many reasons. The first comes from engagement, we know that students learn topics in more depth when they are engaged in meaningful tasks. Hands-on activities should not be busy work, but instead something the students can really dig into and come out of with a deeper understanding. We also know that information and experiences are more likely to be stored in long-term memory when it is connected to emotion or repetition. Hands-on activities should create an experience that is fun (happy emotion), and involve productive struggle (frustration, and the thrill of overcoming) which will help connect it to an emotion. As for repetition, we know that in science to be considered credible the results must be something that can be consistently recreated. Knowing this is where you can lean into the aspect of repetition in experiments and hands-on activities, to help students store their learning in long-term memory.

Olivia McGee Olivia McGee 210 Points

Hi! The benefits of hands-on activities are unlimited. Even students who do not specifically learn that way also benefit from hands-on activities. This is because it creates a special memory about that lesson or topic. Therefore when students are asked about it, they can remember how they completed the activity to respond to your question or test. This is also a great way to assess students on a higher level. Teachers can assess them in groups or individually. 

Nancy Gonzalez Nancy Gonzalez 810 Points

I believe that conducting hands-on activities is very beneficial to students because many students learn from experience. Conducting hands-on activities also helps students retain information better because they participated versus sitting and just listening to the teacher's lecture. 

Frida Ramirez Frida Ramirez 880 Points

Hello, Marbel! There are a lot of students that learn better doing hands-on activities, but I think science is a subject where sometimes it will be better to do hands-on activities in order to really understand and see the process behind the concept being taught.

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