Hands-On Science Education: Basic Requirements
There are three basic requirements for designing and implementing an excellent elementary science program. These are:
I have discussed these in some detail in previous blogs as indicated in the links above. Today, we’ll start to take a look at the resources teachers need in order to offer science programs that meet these requirements.
Science Education Materials
For students to do hands-on science, they need something to put their hands on. Elementary classrooms need basic scientific equipment. I am not referring to plastic cups, empty soda bottles, half-filled science kits, and miscellaneous (and often broken) hand-me-downs from the high school. Too often, hands-on science is limited to activities like combining ingredients to make cookies or planting a bean in a plastic cup to watch it sprout simply because no other experiments are possible with the materials that are available. For hands-on science activities to be effective, students need equipment that can capture accurate data. If students cannot measure the results of their experiments, they will have a difficult time drawing scientific conclusions – an aquarium of tropical fish or a hamster in the back of the classroom will teach very few basic science concepts on their own.
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