I'd like to suggest that science literacy is as important as reading literacy (literary literacy?). Of course the two go together - a kid with poor reading comprehension is going to have a tough time in all subjects. A problem, though, is that a lot of people think that science is boring or only for geeks or for boys*. Au contraire! Science can be fun.
Now, there are lots of computer programs, and web sites and books that are designed to teach science to kids. Personally, I think hands-on learning is much more fun. I'll highlight some of the online resources for at-home science.
- If your kid likes cooking (and who doesn't like an experiment you can eat?) there are lots of possible experiments you can do in your kitchen. The Exploratorium has science projects involving candy, bread, eggs, pickles, and spices.
- Want something more explosive? How about mixing mentos with coke, or making a soda bottle rocket?
- The Exploratorium web site also has a whole section on
sports science. Read about it, then give it a try.
- Rat Lab has a variety of projects, from extracting DNA in your kitchen to turning pennies green.
- About.com tells you how to make your own slime or fake blood.
- For the budding Nancy Drew (or CSI), the National Library of Medicine has lots of links for kids interested in forensics and crime scene investigation.
- HHMI's Cool Science for Curious Kids has some biology related experiments.
- Project Dragonfly is a site for "inquiry based science learning".
- Neuroscience for Kids answers questions about how the brain works.
- For musical accompaniment, I recommend the catchy Bloodmobile song and animation (with They Might be Giants), this collection of old singing science records and the physics songs site.
Pick one or two experiments to try, have some fun, and everyone might learn something along the way!
* If someone claims that science is an exclusively male activity, point them to the Women's Adventures in Science site.
Next in the chain is Matt, at Fireflies in the Cloud.
Tags: AW Chain, science, education