Wednesday, January 28

CHALK TALK Learning Science at Home

It would be advantageous if children had some knowledge of science, even if they have interests outside of physics, chemistry and biology.  Students need to have a basic understanding of science to make informed decisions about their own health and their surrounding natural environment. Embracing the basic scientific concepts complements a well-rounded education. 

Parents can play a significant role in helping their children develop a curiosity and appreciation for science. There are many educational resources readily available for parents to explore. What is more beneficial than joining your child in the exploring, observing and learning about the wonderful world of science around you.  

Taking your child on a fun journey to a museum or observing nature at a park are a few of the many exciting opportunities in your community to engage in scientific exploration. For example, you and your child can take a walk on the beach and examine the diverse biosphere of a tide pool. In the comfort of your own home, you can study how water boils when it reaches very hot temperatures! You can even conduct a scientific experiment by watching how items float in your sink or bathtub! 

Everyday interactions can inspire your child to observe and appreciate the wonders of nature and science. 

Here are ideas for you to try at home:

·         Look for constellations in the night sky
o   Do you know how to describe a constellation? It is a group of stars that makes a pattern and has a name. Can you spot the big dipper in the night sky? You can familiarize yourself with different constellations, including the big dipper, by conducting a quick search online.
·         Bake a cake
o   It’s one of the first lessons in culinary school: baking is a science. Each ingredient has a job to do. Flour provides the structure, baking powder and baking soda give the cake its airiness, eggs bind the ingredients, butter and oil tenderize, sugar sweetens, and milk or water provides moisture.
·         Observe nature – different trees, rocks and leaves
o   Collect and identify leaves or rocks. Talk about the differences between the color, texture and smell of the objects you encounter! Where are they located? Do certain trees only grow in certain terrain? Do leaves change color in different seasons?
·         Learn about different animal breeds
o   Go for a walk and talk about how the dogs (or birds or cats) that you see are alike and different. Observe your favorite animal(s) around your neighborhood or park. If you love dogs, then talk about the different breeds and what that includes, such as: color of fur, size and even different barks!

Contributed by Natasha
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