For many people, the word “science” seems to conjure up memories of complicated equations or dry lectures from high school or college classes. We sometimes question our ability to understand science concepts ourselves, much less try to teach them to young children. Nowadays, when there is so much focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), it may seem like an even more daunting task when you hear about coding, robotics, and all the other high-tech concepts students are learning.
But let’s go back to the basic definition of science. According to Merriam-Webster, it is “knowledge about the natural world that is learned through experiments and observation”. Do you remember when you were a child and you first saw a baking soda volcano? You probably weren’t intimidated by that, you just thought it was cool that mixing ingredients could cause such a huge reaction.
When working with Cloverbuds, it’s important to capitalize on their natural sense of wonder about the world. Whether they realize it or not, their instinct to figure out how things work, to take things apart, and gets their hands dirty are all scientific investigation. The next time you start to do a project with your Cloverbuds, talk about the steps of the scientific method:
- Identify the problem: How can I make a machine to move a marshmallow across the room?
- Predict what will happen (make a hypothesis): I could make a catapult out of popsicle sticks and rubber bands to shoot the marshmallow.
- Perform an experiment: Design and test the catapult.
- Look at your results: Did my catapult work the way I thought it would?
- Draw conclusions: Next time, I will build a better base for my catapult.
Teaching STEM doesn’t have to be intimidating. Letting your Cloverbuds participate in short, hands-on activities. Teaching them to think through the steps involved is the best way to make science fun and engaging.