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They say Disney Land We say Science Land!

tatement: Mission Statement: Our mission is to show different techniques that can be used to mak makee children scientific literate. This can be done using many ways, for example: puzzles about science, videos and games to explain simple scientific facts to children and simple experiments done by children.

About the magazine: All over the world, science can n be see seen as the most effective. The effect of Science on the world and nd how it benefited humans cannot be ignored. So o how can the culture of science spread more and more among children. It’s crucial for children to be literate about science. Building children’s scientific skills when they are young is more likely to grow with them whe when they grow old than if they start to be scientific literate when they grow older. But how can that be reached? Children ildren at such a young age cannot be taught complex scientific theories. The most effective way is to make them do some simple experiments of things around them that explain very simple theories so they can start thinking scientifically at such a young age and have something to build on n when they grow and start knowing what is real science science.


What is Science? Science is a Latin word that means to know. But what is there to know? It’s to know and discover all the natural phenomena surrounding us.

How can Children be Science Literate? First of all, Being Science literate is not being a scientist and knowing all complex details and theories in science. It’s about gaining the skill of how to think like scientists, to be able to distinguish between bad science and pseudo-science in the journey of discovering the principles of Science. And Neil deGrasse Tyson (an American Astrophysicist) confirms this in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gK2EEwzjPQ But how does that relate to Children? It’s never too early to teach children about Science. Many techniques can be used to simplify scientific facts and theories to children, in an entertaining way, in order for them to have something to build on when they grow older and start using Science in their practical life. The Goal here is to balance between fun and knowledge for Children, something discussed in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsevlL471nQ

Which techniques could be used? 1-Puzzles and Games 2-Simple Experiments 3-Animation Videos

So we will discuss each technique and how it can be applied and how will it benefit children and make them more Science Literate

1-Puzzles and Games First thing can be used is to make children know about scientific terms through a crossword puzzle. For example this game: http://sciencespot.net/Media/A%20TO%20Z%20PUZZLE.pdf


Another thing would be asking Children questions and rewarding the ones with the highest score. This would encourage Children to learn and absorb more scientific facts without the need to feel that it’s an obligation or homework. Some of the questions might be: 1. How long does the Earth take to revolve around the sun? a) 365 days b) 340 days c) 245 days 2. What unit is used to measure force? A. kilogram B. newton C. joule 3. What do we call the amount of matter in a ball? A. volume, B. mass, C. weight 4. Does a strawberry look red because: A. it absorbs red light, or B. it reflects red light? 5. The rate of change of velocity is known as: A. momentum. B. speed. C. acceleration.

Many other puzzles could be found here: http://www.uga.edu/srel/kidsdoscience/games/genetics-wordsearch.pdf http://www.uga.edu/srel/kidsdoscience/games/chemistry-maze.pdf http://www.uga.edu/srel/kidsdoscience/games/biodiversity-wordsearch.pdf http://www.uga.edu/srel/kidsdoscience/games/sci-method-wordsearch.pdf

The purpose of those puzzles is to make the Children familiar with the scientific terms in a way that won’t make them get bored and they can remember easily afterwards. A simple game of Sudoku like this: http://www.miniclip.com/games/sudoku/en/ would challenge kids to learn more about Mathematics and use their minds to solve problems and what approach should they take to do so. Another thing would be this helpful site that explains basic chemistry rules in an appealing way to children. http://pslc.ws/macrog/kidsmac/wiap.htm

2-Simple Experiments


Many techniques could be used. The main objective is for Children to experience different phenomena around them practically and to know how to reach the correct answers according to the scientific method.


Here are a few examples:


3-Animation Videos The goal in this technique is to try to blend entertainment and science to children in the form of cartoons. That will make children more interested in science by them watching cartoons and not forcing them not to watch the cartoons they love. Some Videos found that use animation to explain science to children is as follows: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yKWgDNKtTY this video discussed how bonds between atoms can be formed http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=by-7kkAu2Pg this video explains what is Inertia http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uy3nATe85Kg this video explains what is Gravity The whole Eureka series explains many physical laws using cartoon in a very simplified way to make it easier for children to understand those concepts.


Figure 2: Assessment of Adults considered Scientifically Literate according To Miller (2006) ARCS Foundation, Inc.


Why all this? The answer is in the graph. The graph represents the percentage of adults who are considered scientific literate in their countries. So the best way to increase those numbers is to start with the children. Everyone has a role. Teachers at school need to integrate techniques to make it more entertaining for children to know about science and be literate. Parents need to dedicate more time to teach their children about science. Science is not boring; it gets interesting when it is represented in a way that gets their attention, especially when they are at such a young age. Children use their senses, such as touching and holding objects, visualizing the way they look, and listening to the voices produced by different objects and materials when they are in contact with each other, to learn about their surrounding world. Therefore, young children engage, through their actions and attitudes, in scientific thinking before they start formal scientific education at schools. Conducting simple experiments and testing their outcomes is the best way to enhance the children’s analytical skills. There are various experiments that would give children the opportunity to investigate new matter and understand the concepts behind its observed behavior. For instance, providing children with some ice cubes to play with would be a very entertaining activity and informative as well. When the children are given the chance to explore the properties of ice (or any other matter) and how they change with time, this triggers some questions in their minds, like why does ice melt or why stirring melts ice faster. This process of thinking allows children to intuitively ask questions, propose a hypothesis for their observation, and make certain predictions. Thus, the children unknowingly follow the scientific thinking checklist when they are addressing a certain problem; they behave like young scientific thinkers. Therefore, science for children should involve asking questions, searching for answers, conducting investigation and collecting data. Teachers should also ask the children some challenging questions regarding the problem they are investigating to focus their minds on a certain idea in order to conceive it efficiently. It could be even more fun if the teacher offered prizes for the children who would reach the correct answer. This would encourage all the children to participate and interact while enjoying what they are doing. In conclusion, the best way to enhance children’s critical thinking abilities is to expose them to as much experience as possible through active involvement.


References:

http://www.arcsfoundation.org/Pittsburgh/JMiller.pdf

http://www.geo.sunysb.edu/esp/files/scientific-method.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neil_Tyson

PAUL DeHART HURD Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.(1997). Scientific Literacy: New Minds for a

Changing World.

Gelman, R., and K. Brenneman. "Preschool Science Experiment: Water and Ice." Parenting Science – The Science of Parenting and Child Development. Gwen Dewar. Web. 20 Nov. 2010. http://www.parentingscience.com/preschool-science-experiment.html Wilson, By Ruth. "Promoting the Development of Scientific Thinking." Earlychildhood NEWS. Web. 20 Nov. 2010. http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/earlychildhood/article_view.aspx?ArticleId=409 Zohar, A., Y. Weinberger, and P. Tamir. "Teaching Critical Thinking: A Parenting Science Guide." Parenting Science – The Science of Parenting and Child Development. Gwen Dewar. Web. 20 Nov. 2010. http://www.parentingscience.com/teaching-critical-thinking.html

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How to make Children Science Literate?

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