Teaching Kids Science Through Real Life Experiences
Science is all around us, and we as a family believe that it is so important to help our girls learn as much about science as possible. We look for everyday opportunities to share with them science lessons like these. Thank you to Bayer’s Making Science Make Sense for sponsoring this post.
We have been so lucky when it comes to Emmy’s education.
Her school the past couple of years has not only been understanding, but also encouraged us to travel with her. Her teacher knew that some of the best learning moments are from experiences not just from a traditional classroom experience. When Emmy was learning about the first settlers to America, she was doing it in Jamestown. She learned about mining towns in Park City Utah and about Native Americans where they actually walked in Arizona.
Because it is summer time, and she is out of school, we are expanding her learning to encompass science too, and we are doing it in the same way with real life experiences. Pete and I are showing her the ways that science is important in all of our lives, and how we use it each and every single day. With these little lessons, she is learning how things work and why, and STEM is such an important subject to learn in and out of school.
I know that many of my friends talk about how they don’t feel that STEM subjects are getting enough time in their children’s classroom learning and that they too are supplementing the learning experience. Thankfully we are not the only ones that recognize this much needed area of learning our kids’ needs. Bayer created a company-wide, award-winning initiative called Making Science Make Sense® (MSMS) that advances science literacy across the United States. MSMS allows students to learn science by doing science through hands-on, inquiry-based experiences that involve observing, experimenting, hypothesizing, analyzing and testing. Bayer creates exciting, hands-on lessons for kids starting in elementary school to ignite their scientific curiosity at a young age. Studies show that this timing is the best chance to get students interested in the subject and to foster their science literacy skills. I know from personal experience that the younger the kids are when they start to learn about this the better!
With this in mind, we decided to share some really easy ways that we are teaching Emmy about science in our everyday life all in just one morning.
Today it was dentist day for us. The five of us all go at the same time and Emmy loves her dentist so she looks forward to these visits. The dentist is awesome about explaining everything to her, and there were so many opportunities to talk about science. We just chose one today, the protective vest that she wears when she gets x-rays of her teeth. We explained how radiation works and how it can be both harmful and helpful and that this blue vest actually protects the parts that are covered from receiving any radiation. She immediately came home and wanted to research radiation and x-rays more!
Another place to teach science is at the gas station. You can explain how liquids and gasses work while pumping gas, or as we did today, about the benefits of having properly inflated tires can help with gas mileage and safety. Emmy was also intrigued that there is a gadget that measures tire pressure. I think it is still really interesting that you can measure something you can’t see, like air!
Back at home Emmy wanted to go for a swim, so we checked in on the pool to see what temperature it was, and we talked about how the sun warms it and how it also loses water to evaporation. We let Emmy turn the water on to fill it up, and we showed her how much had evaporated from the last time we filled it up. We have found that seeing things like this really helps her to understand why we need a really good understanding of science to take care of ourselves, our families, our communities and homes.
After that, we had a quick lesson as we started to cook lunch using the stovetop as an example of how gas can burn, and how the different color flames mean different things. The kitchen is such a great place to teach unlimited lessons on science.
Even when you don’t have time to construct a huge science experiment, we have found that our days are filled with mini lessons that our kids all enjoy learning. These lessons are laying a solid science foundation for their futures!