Benefits of Science for Kids
Science is probably one of the fewest subjects that is responsive to a child’s need to learn about the world surrounding them. Children absolutely love science. The benefits of science for kids is tremendous. When children are engaged in a science project they are no longer disruptive because they are too busy exploring. When children work together on science projects their interactions will increase with conservation. Their conversations will result in cooperative behaviors. Children will begin to talk to each other about their predictions, what they observe, and they will ask questions.
Each day children do science of some sort regardless of the environment in which they live. Children observe and learn that things change and in order for that change to occur there is a process. The concept of change can be explored when cooking a pancake. Children know that pancake mix begins as a powder, then it changes to a liquid, next it becomes a solid pancake ready for consumption. Paying attention to the process of cooking the pancake offers a new strategy of taking similar objects and events to provide in meaningful context that will teach new vocabulary and science concepts. When these opportunities present themselves, they provide learning experiences that are relevant to the child’s surroundings.
When children enter the classroom, they come with a range of capabilities. Some have been more exposed to scientific concepts than others. When these same children are working on a project learning the concept of sink and float they may explore it differently. For instance, the child who has been exposed more to their environment may experiment more with several objects to make a determination if they sink or float. Then the other child may only explore with one object. It all depends on the student and what they have been previously exposed to. These open ended science activities are imperative for meeting the developmental needs of children. Open-ended activities allow children to explore an activity at their own pace.
Children love to experiment independently. Which is why hands-on science activities are essential for children to develop their individual needs. When children engage freely in science activities, adults have the opportunity to observe children exploring and seeing what they have learned. If we go back to the example of the concept sink or float, the child who is constantly testing new objects may be ready to move on to something more challenging. The other student who was only using one object may now be ready to explore more. While children test and explore, they begin to realize that some experiments will work while others do not. This is critical to the learning process.
Science concepts require adequate comprehension and vocabulary skills. One of the best ways to teach and to reinforce science vocabulary concepts is by using non-fiction books. These books open the door for a variety of concepts. Additionally, it brings the concepts to life and provides a better understanding of science concepts. For those children who are early or emergent readers, it is a good idea to read aloud non-fiction stories and discuss what was learned.
Trial and error is important when learning science. Experimenting is one of the best benefits of science for kids. Adults can assist in this by planning some possible solutions and making predictions to what might be the most effective. Then test out those predictions. What worked? What didn’t work? How could you do it differently next time? You may want to have the student write down the experiences in notebooks to keep track of what was learned.