Science Kits: Unbox The Hidden Wonders Of Science
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 students. When we talk about this spirit of inquiry, we have to bear in mind 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 the 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 a child’s thinking evolves over a long period.
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 allow for 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 a child’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, students 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 the child. Learning through a hands-on model is a fool-proof method that guarantees clarity of concepts to a child. Moreover, learning through practical demonstrations help a child learn quicker than mere abstract revisions.
The science experiment kit for each grade has been created keeping in mind the unique needs of the child at every stage of their brain 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 1)
Science Explorer (Grade 1) is a science kit for students (6-7 years old) in the first 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.
Nutrition Planner: The activity prescribed in the chapter, Nutrition Planner, is designed to help children distinguish between healthy and unhealthy food items. With the aid of food cards, nutritional planner sheets, sketch pens and tissues, children can take part in activities, which teach them the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle. They can refer to the instruction manual for detailed explanations.
Seasons and Clothes: The activity prescribed in the chapter, ‘Seasons and Clothes’ is designed to help children name and remember the different seasons of the year and their characteristic features. For instance, they can take delight in organising the different parts of different puppets and then identify the clothes worn by them during different seasons.
Community Helpers: The activity prescribed in the chapter, ‘Community Helpers’ is designed to help children identify the important people in their neighbourhood and the occupational category they belong to. They can take part in activities, which require them to recognise the name of the occupation on a card and then place the appropriate uniform on the image of a person.
WindSock and Parachute: The activity prescribed in the chapter, ‘WindSock and Parachute’ is designed to educate children about the workings of a WindSock and Parachute respectively. They also provide children with a basic understanding of the properties and uses of wind.
Plant Lap Book: The activity prescribed in the chapter, ‘Plant Lap Book’ is designed to help children identify the different parts of plants, their functions and uses. They can also draw diagrams of the parts on a white transparent sheet and write descriptions for each of them.
Animals and Shelters: The activity prescribed in the chapter, ‘Animals and Shelters’ is designed to help children identify the different body parts of domestic and wild animals. With animal cut-outs and animal home templates, children can deepen their knowledge of the animal world. Besides, they can learn to sort animals according to their shelters.
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 students. 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, students 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.