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Science Experiments can be inspired by Harry Potter

Urmi Khasnobish

Recently, a school in the United States has put a ban on Harry Potter. This Catholic school in Nashville, Tennessee, banned JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series from their library claiming that “The curses and spells used in the books are actual curses and spells, which when read by a human being risk conjuring evil spirits into the presence of the person reading the text…’’

While this news has come as a shock for Potterheads, let’s talk about some scientific discoveries which were inspired by Harry Potter book. Earlier this year, Alan McCormack, a professor emeritus of science education at San Diego State University, said that teachers can make use of student interests such as Harry Potter books to boost engagement and tap into students’ imagination and creativity. There are many ways to do this.

Harry Potter’s Invisibility cloak
Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak is something that every millennial craves for. With the reference of the invisibility cloak, teachers can talk about refraction, which can be observed when light passes from one medium to another. A group of people from China even had claimed that they have come up with real-life invisibility cloak and made a great scientific discovery. 

The Pensive
In Hogwarts, Headmaster Dumbledore’s office had a large basin filled with shimmering liquid that is used to store memories. With such a reference, learners can be taught a lot about scientific memory.

Spells and Portions
 In The Science of Harry Potter: How Magic Really Works, science journalist Roger High field gives readers a useful clue: Because plants can’t run or hide, they’ve developed a “fearsome range of chemical weapons to deter, maim, and even kill insects and animals that eat them.” This example can make learners think about trees who have stern defense mechanism and can protect themselves. 

Alastor Moody’s Magical Eye
After losing his eye in battle, Professor Moody received a magical replacement. Described as “electric blue,” his eye could see through any material, from doors to walls and even Harry’s invisibility cloak.

The Sorting Hat
If you are a Potterhead, you must be aware of the magical hat that is used to assign students to the four different houses. The hat used to measure a wizard’s potential to decide which house they should join.

Card-sorting can help younger students practice early math skills such as categorizing, pattern recognition, and observation. It also builds language skills as students describe what they see. A fun activity is to sort cards by pulling them from a hat to make it look more interesting.

Along with stimulating learners’ mind with a vivid imagination, the story can influence them to explore different scientific experiments pertaining to physics and chemistry. Harry Potter inspires millions of kids even today so instead of trying to ban it, academicians need to try to integrate it with different educational topics and help learners to relate with the subject topics better.

Sources: 

https://www.edutopia.org/article/magical-approach-science-lessons

https://www.indiatoday.in/trending-news/story/harry-potter-spells-can-conjure-evil-spirits-us-school-bans-jk-rowling-books-1594884-2019-09-03

Urmi Khasnobish
Urmi Khasnobish

Urmi Khasnobish is an experienced copywriter at Next Education India Pvt.Ltd. She is an avid reader and a voracious writer with a strong background in journalism. As an enthusiastic blogger, she often indulges in writing on topics of relevance to the Indian youth.

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