Carolina Biological OSE - July 2024
 

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General Science and Teaching

Engaging Students in Science

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Andrea Woo Andrea Woo 585 Points

When I was a students, science was not a topic that brought much interest to me but as I am working toward my degree in Interdisciplinary Studies my question is how to get students engaged in science? I know I want my students to be confident, engaged, and motivated when learning any topic but especially science, and how can I furthur kindle that motivation myself for teaching/ learning about science?

Hannah Bodine Hannah 320 Points

Make it relatable, interesting, and fun. For example, when I teach Stoichiometry, one of the most hated units in all of Chemistry, we do a Smores lab, which is a fun and relatable way to learn and further our knowledge of stoichiometry and its importance in the every day world.

Kimberly Mcknight Kimberly Mcknight 645 Points

Using Science to connect student to real world problems is a start. Phenomena is common in the classroom. However you should use it to raise question so you can build knowledge and understanding around the problem first and then teach the idea. Using videos or engaging activities to introduce the lesson to get the students' interest is a great start as well.

Lauren Cramer Lauren Cramer 2025 Points

I agree with Kimberly. You have to make it real to them and connect it to the issue they see in their daily lives. You should definitely be using driving questions to help guide students through this process. In my experience, I use hands on lab activities as much as possible and we try to take learning outside. It makes a huge difference. 

Mabel Carter Mabel Carter 20 Points

I agree, I have noticed that the students are really engaged when they do labs or somemthing more hands on. We did newtons 3 laws of motion and I did a demo for each of them and I was SHOCKED at how well they remembered them so well! They even remembered the order of the demos and associated them with the 1st 2nd and 3rd law!

Plus I had a lot of fun plannign and teaching the lesson so overall it was a win :) Hope this helps!

Audrey Schirmer Audrey Schirmer 1615 Points

I agree completely with what the people said prior to my reply.

You definitely want to incorporate hands on activities. Things that allow students to witness science occurring right in front of them. The more you can do that, the better. I try to do labs that are real science labs with chemicals, but then also do modeling activities with things like food. Using both types of hands on activities really makes a difference. 

Michael Aprill Michael Aprill 885 Points

I teach high school astronomy, but perhaps you can take something from my two philosophies on this. This could easily be adapted to other grade levels or areas of science. 

1) Guage your student interest and incorporate science based on the interest that year. 

Each year, what interest my students changes. For example, in 2022 and 2023 it was the Artemis missions, our next set of missions to the moon. The students had hear about the mission, so I choose to integrate that into activities for my students last year and early this year.  

This year, a new topic came up in class, Pluto..planet or not.  So I went with it.  

Last night, we some of my students saw the Northern Lights, so we talked about and did activities to explore why this happens. 

You will need to guage your students to see what their interests are at the moment.  I'm always open to current events and if the students have a peaked interest in what's going on in science we explore it. There is more work when you respond to current science, but you will see greater interest in science. 

2) Incorporate science topic articles into your curriculum.  Each unit, I try to have at least two articles. The first one usually focuses on science and culture. I try to tie into the culture of my current students or students they know. For example I currently have a high Hmong population of students so incorporated an article on the Lunar New Year.  I try to be inclusive of equity and diversity. 

The second article usually focuses on a current event or upcoming event or technology or application of math.  Recently I had my students read an article that I wrote focused on the upcoming mission to the Moon.   Another recent article / activity was focused on scale and distances in space.  I tied this article to space, communication with spacecraft, & how student communication technologies work.  That was how I related it to them. 

I hope this gives you some ideas. 

Mike

 

Jennifer Pena Jennifer Pena 645 Points

Hello Andrea,
I am a student at the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley, and I am studying Early Childhood to 3rd grade. One way that you can engage students would be by including lessons that children are interested in. You may merge their interests and their motivation together into one. I also believe that you can stay motivated by getting involved with families and other administrators to further kindle your experience as a teacher.

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