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Informal Science

How to Love Science

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Sumer Green Sumer Green 445 Points

Hi Everyone,

 

My name is Sumer and I am a junior in college. I am going for Elementary Education and one of the things that I am most afraid to do is teach science. I was always a good student in primary school, but science is always something I dreaded. It always felt like a bunch of reading and vocab and worksheets that I didn't understand. I was hoping some people who had similar experiences would share some ways they make science fun in their classroom? I want to learn to love science so that I can pass that love onto my students.

 

Thank you!!

Matt Bobrowsky Matt Bobrowsky 6325 Points

Great question, Sumer! I'm sorry to hear that you weren't taught science properly. Real science is very exciting. It's a process of exploration and discovery!

One way that the fun is sucked out of science is by (incorrectly) teaching a five- or seven-step "scientific method," which makes science seem much more cookbook and uncreative compared to the very creative and exciting process that it is. In short, that "scientific method" stifles creativity, it’s not like what most scientists do, and it omits important aspects of science, including careful observation, collaboration, finding out what's already known, creating models, and arguing from evidence.

Science is a process for learning. Show students some interesting phenomenon, and have them discuss and investigate what's going on. This is the basis of Phenomenon-Based Learning, where students are motivated to learn through their own curiosity. See:

https://my.nsta.org/resource/115143/science-101-how-can-i-make-science-fun-and-have-students-learn-more-by-using-phe

And definitely look at Berkley's Understanding Science website. It is excellent.

http://undsci.berkeley.edu

There are teacher resources for all grade levels.

Loren Chassels Loren Chassels 580 Points

You are perfectly positioned to make science fun and interesting, like it should be. You don't have to create a scientist. Just make all the kids curious about the stuff around them. Have fun with it!

Alex Holden Alex Holden 605 Points

Hey Sumer,

I am also an Elementary Education major at Wartburg College and I have had the same concern! One thing that my professors have suggested is teaching science while also teaching another subject! These cross-curricular lessons will be fun for you and the students and teach them a lot in one lesson! I've attached one of the lessons that I wrote so that you can see an example of this. I hope this helps!

Miriam Godinez Miriam Godinez 620 Points

Hi Summer, having a lesson plan that engages the student in active communication and discussion with their classmates, I believe, would make the association of science more entertaining. While my experience is distinct from yours, I know that having hands-on experiences involving the students' interests helps promote the fascination with learning science. Promoting the students' curiosity encourages interaction and collaboration making it fun for the students to problem solve their interests. 

Attachments

Joyful Science (Article)

Annie Dietz Annie Dietz 705 Points

Hello Sumer, my name is Annie Dietz. I am a preservice teacher at Wartburg College, studying to become a high school Biology teacher. I am currently working on research on Biophilia and how it affects students. Biophilia is the idea that humans naturally love living things. You could incorporate living things such as plants or animals (if your school allows) into your lessons! This will help students connect to the material and keep them engaged.  

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