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June 21, 2017

7 Ways we can Inspire our Children to Love Science (& Maybe Save the World.)

Trying to get kids interested in science is like trying to get a bull’s-eye in darts with a blindfold on.

It’s easy to throw in the right direction and give it everything you’ve got, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to get it right.

It’s a tough job that baffles teachers and parents around the world.

I’ve sat down with my kids countless times, going through textbooks and homework, trying to explain the ins and outs of each experiment and concept. We usually all end up getting bored and frustrated. I thought there must be a better way to engage my children in science—at least something better than reading from a textbook.

That’s when it hit me: Children love interaction. In fact, they thrive on it. Imagine you’re teaching a child to ride a bike. You don’t get on the bike yourself and try to teach them by watching—you let them have a go on the bike themselves. I adopted the same approach for teaching science to my kids.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s biology, physics, or chemistry, there are so many experiments and methods to get them involved. Many children may be put off by the long chemical words or find it hard or even daunting to learn and understand various scientific concepts. But, I feel like this problem can easily be solved by encouraging children to study science in a much more hands-on way from a young age.

Luckily, this wasn’t as hard as it sounds. In fact, it was actually quite easy to ignite that spark in my children’s minds—the spark that ignites their thirst for knowledge and makes them want to know more. With exciting and mentally stimulating experiments, I had my children hooked and eager to delve deeper into the world of science.

Over the summer, I performed seven awesome kid-friendly science experiments that grabbed my children’s attention and finally led them to get hooked on science. From burning balloons and teabag-powered rockets to green pennies and fake snow, each one of these experiments left my kids awe-struck.

They got even more excited when I explained the science behind each one of the experiments. Not only did they not get bored, but my elder child even started looking up “fireproof balloons” on YouTube! The next thing I saw, she was on Khan Academy, watching a physics video. What a great result that came in such an unexpected way.

These experiments can be carried out with everyday objects that we can usually find within our homes.

With the help from my buddy Luke, I’ve turned those experiments into an illustrated infographic. You can check it out below and try some of them with your own kids.

As always, adult supervision is recommended, although these experiments are perfectly safe for you to do at home, at school, or in your garden. And if you’re there to explain the science behind the respective experiments, they’ll be intrigued by a world of mystery ready to be unlocked through cause and effect. This is your chance to prove to your children that science can indeed be fun. It is also a fantastic way to bring your family closer for endless hours of fun together.

When I think back on the days of sitting at school in my science class, the teacher droning on and on about something written on the whiteboard as I felt myself drifting off into my 15-year old textbook, I am glad and proud that my children won’t have to go through the same painful experience anymore.

(Click the image for high resolution version)

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Author: Sandra Cobain
Images: Author’s Own
Editor: Khara-Jade Warren
Copy Editor: Leah Sugerman
Social Editor: Callie Rushton

 

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Sandra Cobain