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Informal Science

How to Love Science

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Sumer Green Sumer Green 460 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 6410 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 595 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 620 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!

Brian Marrero Brian Marrero 1260 Points

Well I'm Teacher in Middle School and actually is very complicated that my students love science. Most them like them and get used to it and is ok. All the students will not love it or like it; because there are different interest. Otherwise, I think that they loved my class because I love to teach about my topics and I transmit that and I always trying to make things different for them. There a buch of things that you can do with your students to make them feel more sucered in your classroom. Try to use the tecnology that there familiar to, make short laboratory to demostred the concepts. Try to use resource about paint, cut and paste. They love to cut with the scissor and paste and coloring. Trust me, my students love thats.

Raechel Waddy Raechel Waddy 965 Points

When I was in middle school I had a teacher that showed science videos once a week and it was the LEAST engaging thing about the class. As a middle school science teacher, I like using the 5E model where every topic that I introduce has an engaging demo, lab, or phenomenon for us to discuss before we begin. When I do find something I like to attach something relevant such as a popular meme, song, or other fad happening at the time. This approach makes for great ice breakers and definitely engages most students, if not all.

Miriam Godinez Miriam Godinez 635 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)

This is a great article, Miriam--many thanks for the recommendation. I like term 'active communication' in th science context! And thanks to Sumer for inspiring you to share it!

Annie Dietz Annie Dietz 725 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.  

Robyn Soronow Robyn Soronow 13905 Points

Hi Sumer. I relate to your experience. I enjoyed science as an elementary student, but by the time I got to middle or high school, I dreaded it. I would say you can make science fun by having students conduct their own investigations and expiriments. Through these experiences, they can act as scientists and develop conceptual understandings about science content. I feel like this is easier to implement in the elementary grades, because there are fewer and easier concepts to learn. 

I am so glad you put this out there, Sumer. I know it's an older post, but gosh, it is a good one for the ages. Thanks to all who replied. It was really helpful in keeping in mind what science is all about: the joy!

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