Explore The Wonders Of Science Kits
Science is one of the dreaded subjects for most children. It is a subject rich in illustrations, facts and figures, which can at times appear utterly baffling and unintelligible to the young minds. The way science is taught in most schools has more to do with the one-sided communication of information by teachers, rather than fostering a spirit of inquiry in children. When we talk about this spirit of inquiry, we have to bear in mind the curiosity-driven learning and the process of innovation.
Curiosity allows children to question, do things differently and learn about their surroundings, using either one of the three senses or all of them together– visual, kinesthetic and auditory. Innovation, on the other hand, is about giving vent to one’s creative potential and imagination. It is about devising solutions as per one’s needs and requirements. For a six-year-old child, a word as profound as human innovation can be applied to the simplest of their acts. It can just refer to their simple act of making a paper boat or a paper plane. What’s more, it can also evince their artistic bent of mind– scribbling a space-craft on a drawing book. In their later years, they may show an inclination to learn about space-studies at college and university, pursue research and come up with their ideas of inventing a space-craft. It undoubtedly shows how children’s thinking evolves over a long period of time.
There has been worldwide recognition of the power of children’s early thinking and learning as well as the belief that science can lay the foundations for lifetime learning and future discoveries. With appropriate guidance, the natural curiosity of children can be harnessed in the right direction to make sense of the world. One of the best ways to help young minds develop a keen interest in science is by providing them with science kits. At Next Education, we believe that experiential learning is pivotal to turning knowledge into wisdom for children. Not only are our science kits designed to make learning fun and intellectually stimulating for children but it also gives them hands-on experience with different tools and equipment.
Let’s understand first what a science kit is.
Science kits are educational tools designed to supplement formal classroom activities. Indeed, they serve the purpose of a mini-science lab. These kits contain lab equipment, materials, instruction manuals and references for carrying out a multitude of hands-on activities. They cater to students of different age groups and capabilities.
Advantages of using educational science kits
- They help children develop a deeper understanding of the concepts.
- They extend learning beyond classrooms. Children can conduct activities and experiments not only in their classrooms but also in the comfort of their own homes.
- They ensure better retention of concepts and illustrations.
- They help children develop an analytical approach to learning.
- They ensure that learning is fun and intellectually engaging.
- They improve children’s manual dexterity and help them develop a keen eye for detail. This makes them cognizant of the similarities and differences between various objects.
- Since they promote an experimental form of learning, children get to work by a process of trial and error.
With the recognition that children need to be engaged in the learning process, Next Education has created the Next Explorer Science Kits to arouse the innate curiosity of children. Learning through a hands-on model is a fool-proof method that helps children learn quicker than mere abstract revisions.
The science experiment kit for each grade has been created keeping in mind the various stages of a child’s cognitive development. Each kit consists of 10+ activities with at least 4-5 interlinked concepts. Such a method is crafted to ensure that important skills such as experimentation, observation, problem-solving, language development and risk mitigation are inculcated in the child.
In addition, each science kit also comes with a product key that will unlock exclusive activity videos available on the NextCurriculum mobile app (Google Playstore) to further children’s learning through visualisations.
Science Explorer (Grade 2)
Science Explorer (Grade 2) is a science kit for children (7 years old) in the second grade. It consists of activity materials and an instruction manual detailing step-by-step procedures for executing different activities. Besides, it has a list of exploratory questions, knowledge nuggets, fun zones and looks around for all activities.
Now, let’s take a sneak-peek at some of its activities.
Balloon Helicopter: The activity prescribed in the chapter, ‘Balloon Helicopter’, is designed to educate children about the properties of air and how it helps move things. To put it simply, a balloon helicopter is a flying toy that propels itself with the power of the air. With the help of the activity materials, children can create their balloon helicopter and experience a sense of wonder at their creation.
Animal Wheel: The activity prescribed in the chapter, ‘Animal Wheel’, is designed to help children recognise common animals and birds and remember their eating habits. For instance, they can take delight in matching the picture pieces of food with the picture pieces of animals placed on a circular disc. They can also create a similar wheel with new sets of animals and food and in the process enrich their knowledge of the animal world.
Omni Car: The activity prescribed in the chapter, ‘Omni Car’, is designed to help children identify the different vehicles plying in their neighbourhood. By creating an Omni car, they can see for themselves the various scenarios in which it is being used. The remarkable aspect of this activity is that children can mould the Omni car according to the surface on which it moves. For instance, it can be placed either on a smooth surface such as the floor or inside a container of water. This gives children a deeper understanding of the movement of a car or a boat.
Event Book: The activity prescribed in the chapter, ‘ Event Book’, is designed to help children identify the month, date, day, time and time of day. It has a picture of a clock, a list of months and a scale showing the dates day-wise and month-wise. Children can spin the arrow to set the time on the picture clock and then jot down the time of day. In a similar vein, they can manually place the arrow on a particular date on the scale.
With changing times, the methods of learning and teaching have to change. This also necessitates the use of teaching assistance tools such as science experiment kits, which bridge the gap between theory and practice. Conventional methods of education have mostly lost their appeal among children. Not only its restrictive aspects have stunted their imagination but also overshadowed their individual learning needs.
Science is a subject, the learning of which demands theoretical mastery of concepts and application of them to real-life situations. Regurgitating facts no longer serves the purpose. Today, children are exploring new ways of seeking information about the physical world. Parents and teachers have to understand this transition and give them ample opportunities to question, experiment and do things independently. Here is where these kits can come in handy for them.