Scan Magazine, Issue 91, August 2016

Page 74

Even though Hanne Finstad is busy managing a growing company, she still teaches on one of Forskerfabrikken’s courses.

How to make your kid love science When humanity is faced with great challenges, we often look to science for groundbreaking solutions. So why are we making it so boring in school? In Norway, a social entrepreneur has given science a full makeover and made it just as fun as football.

But for humanity to solve those problems, more children have to choose a career in science. That is why Finstad is using every trick in the book to motivate them.

By Eirik Elvevold | Photos: Frank Holm

For many kids, natural science is synonymous with boredom and bad grades. They are told time and time again that science is useful and important, but rarely experience it as something exciting. This bad reputation made Norwegian biochemist Hanne Finstad dedicate herself to social entrepreneurship and create Forskerfabrikken (the Scientist Factory). The company offers children practical science courses after school and during holidays all across Norway with the goal of making science a normal hobby just like sports, music or dance. 74  |  Issue 91  |  August 2016

“Kids love exploring the world when there are bubbles, smells, slime and things buzzing around them. We teach maths, physics, chemistry and biology by stimulating all their senses. They are truly starving for more practice,” says Finstad, now holding the title of Factory Boss, as well as Dr. Philos. Being a scientist herself, Finstad consideres natural science to be a crucial tool in solving the challenges of the future, like dealing with climate change, curing diseases and safe-guarding clean food.

”We often use stories and dramaturgy. One good example is a criminal case where the kids are left with clues like blood, hair, fingerprints and broken glass. Then we leave them to figure out who is guilty using science,” Finstad explains. Another unique approach is found in the birthday kit available in Forskerfabrikken’s online store. “Making your own ice cream and mini-tornado while learning sure makes for a great birthday party,” she says.

Business-powered idealism When Finstad started Forskerfabrikken in 2002, she was storing her science

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