It is during the summer when students get a chance to spend time outside. It is during the summer that they actually learn the most about science without even realizing. In Florida you can find a 9 year old who can explain the variations in waves and their surf-ability. The same kid can show you his collection of shark teeth and tell you where most of them are located. He has a collection of sand from different beaches. Yet, if you ask him about science, he will be quick to tell you that science in school is really boring.
I had no argument. The school science curriculum would bore anyone.
As a nation we hope that implementation of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) will save the day, but it is not. The emphasis on STEM doesn’t necessarily translate to effective and engaging teaching practices. STEM is simply too broad of an idea. Plus, our elementary teachers who need it the most are not able to teach it due to standardized testing demands or the lack of confidence in teaching science.
By the time students get to middle school, most of them have lost interest in science. The exploration time of early childhood and elementary grades is given to incessant testing and avoidance of school work.
So, it is really up to creative teachers and parents to keep the science interest alive. Kids can learn about science in the backyard or on the ocean shore. Get books from the library. Go for walks.
Here are some interesting pictures my kids and I took this summer during our adventures. Feel free to use them in your classroom.
Yesterday I came across an awesome Science Toy Subscription on kickstarter.com https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/281330213/discovery-capsule.
The Discovery Capsule sends each month in the mail to your class or your child a different theme capsule (box) filled with science items and activity guide. What a great idea. Usually we hunt for this stuff in science museums. I was sold when I saw dinos and space, two things my two little guys are crazy about.
This is a perfect Christmas present from the relatives or grandparents. It will be a year long gift.