While there are plenty of hands on experiments to be done when teaching (or learning) science, it’s also important to take some time to think about some of the bigger questions that science and invention involve.
I’ve found one interesting way to do this is to present the kids in my classes with a question or statement about some aspect of how science impacts them or the wider world, and ask them to delve into what thoughts they have about it.
This works really well to get students minds to switch gear, and perhaps look at a bigger picture – even allowing them to cast their minds forward into how science, understanding, and technology might go on to change the world in new and unforeseen ways!
Wait, isn’t this Science…?
But any learning relating to science doesn’t have to be all bunsen burners and STEM robot building – or worse, super dry fact repetition.
In my opinion a big part of teaching any topic effectively is activating enthusiasm and fresh ways of thinking.
This can certainly be achieved using exciting scientific experiments, but I love to get the kids minds involved, and help make a few of those “oh, wow” moments as they connect the dots and understand perhaps for the first time just how awesome science is for humankind, and how it led to many of their favorite things in life.
The Writing Prompts:
- Electric cars are about to dramatically change transportation. What changes can you think of which will be involved?
- Is it possible to really connect with people using technology? What are some examples, and how might this change in the future?
- What is something that your parents generation thought, which science has changed the way we think about more recently?
- Have you tried Virtual Reality? How real did it feel? How does VR try and trick the mind?
- The invention of the smartphone transformed the world in many unexpected ways. What are some ways you can think of? What might the next invention be that impacts billions of people every day?
- Listening to white noise (such as hissing static or ocean sounds) is believed to help people sleep. Why do you think this is, and could you test your theory?
- How would you get your kid brother or sister interested in science?
- Why is invention of new things important?
- If you could fly a hot air balloon high up in the sky, right to the edge of space, what experiment would you do first?
- In the past people used to have to find a phone in a building to make a call. Then cellphones were invented and people could call each other from anywhere. The smartphone then increased the ways we could communicate with each other anywhere. What will be next?
- When people lift weights, they get bigger muscles. Why does this happen?
- What is one invention that you think has changed the world, but you don’t think people think about at all.
- What is something that got invented, which then got used for something completely different?
- How music can be made has changed over history, from live orchestras, to recorded instruments, to electronic beats and synthesizers. How might technology change music further in the future?
- Who is the best science YouTuber? What do they do that makes science exciting and interesting to you?
- What is a fact about Space that blows your mind?
- What are the main challenges humankind has to overcome to colonize other planets in our solar system?
- How is music able to change our state of mind?
- Why does doing a physical activity like sport make us feel better?
I hope you all got some great inspiration from these, and that it helped trigger some wonderful thoughtful writing and discussion.
Stay tuned for more!
I’d also love to hear from you with any suggestions for further resources you’d like us to make for you 🙂
Matt & Hayley