Every now and then a natural scientist is born, but for the rest of us we need to foster a love of science within our kids. I’ve heard many parents tell their kids, “I hated science so I can’t help you”, or “you just need to get through it and it’s not important if you don’t want to be a scientist” or even worse, “girls are never very good at science anyway!” Remember our kids are not only influenced by us but their attitude towards any type learning, is also shaped by our actions and words. You can remind your kids there are many interesting careers that are science based, from becoming an astronaut to an archeologist, what kids don’t want to dig up dinosaur bones!
Kids have a natural curiosity for exploring and learning more about the world around them which makes them born scientists and it’s our job to encourage and support them especially if they want to pursue a science-based career. I can remember reading and watching hours of ‘The Magic School Bus’ and thanks to Miss Frizzle and her crazy science experiments and journeys, my kids really engaged with the natural sciences and were full of questions by the time they reached school. I thought up to the age of 10, I had a Doctor and a Physicist on my hands! These books are amazing for creating a sense of curiosity in a fun way and they offer lots of opportunities to try experiments at home, where the whole family can participate. Any good parent will recount stories of homemade volcanoes gone wrong, creating slime on rainy days and painting various different planets for a solar system school project. These are the activities our kids will remember as they advance through school, hopefully with a love for natural sciences already in place.
If serious science education is more of a priority then there are plenty of science activities for kids do at home, either as after school activities or in addition to their school work. Through science based activities, kids can enjoy discovering and appreciate that science can be a fun learning experience. The more serious science enthusiasts have plenty of opportunity to visit science museums both in person and more recently virtually all over the world. In Bangkok The Children’s Discovery Museum in Chatuchak, which re-opened in January 2015 after lengthy renovations is a great way for kids to experiment with hands-on equipment and through interactive displays. The museum offers a fun day of exploration and play for children ages 1 to 12 with a focus on learning through doing.
Another great science trip in Bangkok is the Centre for Education & Bangkok Planetarium. The Bangkok Planetarium and observatory is an important device and useful for the study of geography, science and astronomy. The center serves as a place for young kids and youth to enjoy learning from real simulation. This technique is considered more clear and understand than lecturing in class and can encourage kids to reach for the stars, quite literally!
Whichever way you choose to get your kids excited about science, remember science forms a critical part of their ongoing school curriculum from Early years to secondary education. Developing a love (or at least a like) for science will benefit them as they progress through their learning journey.