Real Science is Fun

We often hear from parents and students that science is boring, dull, and uninteresting.  Many of us have had experiences in school perhaps even falling asleep as a teacher or professor presents what could be interesting information in the most tedious and dull way possible. We sit through the class because we have to, but as soon as the semester is over, we may toss the books and never think about the class again.

It’s no secret that the best way to learn something new is to learn it in a way that is engaging, interesting, and even fun.  The best teachers know how to make any subject “fun.” They also know that the more a student learns the more “fun” it is and the more the student will have “fun” learning the subject on their own. And this is the key to making any subject and especially science, more fun to learn – simply learning more.

Sometimes it’s challenging to learn something new. It can be difficult to learn how to play the piano or ride a bike because it’s all brand new, and it’s easy to give up before it starts to feel like fun. However, we all know that if we can get someone to stick with learning something new long enough, they will eventually enjoy it. They have to get past the first learning bump. And this is true with academic subjects such as math, history, or science. The more someone learns about these subjects the more fun they have learning.

And this is what makes real science fun. A colorful, engaging text helps a child get started, but learning the real terms and concepts and learning how to do real experiments are what makes science fun. Knowing how real science works opens a whole new world of discovery that is fun for anyone, and especially kids, to explore.

 

 

Kids want real science

Kids learn at an astonishing rate, and from the time they are born, they begin to absorb everything around them. Kids are curious about the world they live in, and as soon as they can, they start asking questions. They want to know how plants grow, where butterflies come from, why the sun is warm, and how spiders spin a web.

It isn’t enough to give kids simple or goofy answers. They want real answers. Their questions are serious because they are in the very important stage of learning everything they can about the world around them. They want us to give them real answers to their very real questions, and they know when we aren’t giving them what they want.

But giving real answers for science questions can be difficult for many parents. If science wasn’t your thing in school or if you had a bad experience in a science class or two, learning enough science to satisfy your curious young researcher may be painful.

Real Science-4-Kids makes giving your child real answers easier. You don’t have to have a PhD in science to teach your kids real science and give them real answers to their questions. Real Science-4-Kids helps you give your kids a good foundation, and as the lessons build, one-on-top of the other, your child begins to see a bigger and bigger picture for how things work in the physical and natural world. Real Science-4-Kids is research oriented so you learn science with your child. As you guide the open inquiry questions and help your child look up their own answers, you find out that you too start to understand the bigger picture that is science!

 

Can “real” science wait until high school?

When we are out attending conferences and chatting with parents, teachers, and school administrators, we are often asked if it is better to start teaching “real” science in high school. We believe that the best time to start learning real science is when the child starts asking questions about the world around them; like what is Jell-O made of and why can’t the snowman stay until summer? This is the ideal time to start teaching kids about atoms and molecules, force, energy, and work, how plants grow and why, and what the Earth, planets, and stars are made of and how they move. Young children are primed to explore the world around them, and when they start asking real questions, we should always do our best to give them real answers.

If we wait until high school, we miss the most important time in a child’s life to engage them in a subject they find fascinating, and it is really hard to learn anything if we aren’t engaged. One misconception is that “real” science is too hard to teach to younger students and this simply isn’t true. If real science facts and concepts are presented in an easy-to-follow and logical manner, anyone can learn science – even a first grader. Not convinced? Watch Naomi and decide if this 6-year old has learned a few real science facts and concepts.

What is “real” science?

Have you ever read a blog article about a fool-proof diet or miracle cure “recommended by scientists” and wondered if it were true? Have you ever been told by a “science expert” about an amazing product that will make you look 20 years younger? Have you ever purchased a product or followed a friend’s advice because you were “sold” on the science only to find out later they were wrong and you were fooled?

Richard Feynman, a famous physicist, said, “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Today it can be harder than ever not to be fooled by alternative facts, pseudoscience, and misinformed friends or experts. How can you tell real science from falsehoods pretending to be science, and how can you teach your kids the difference?

Fortunately, the answer is simple, but applying it can be difficult. In a nutshell, telling the difference between real science and falsehoods is about being intellectually honest about data, facts, sources, and the conclusions we draw from them. Real science is the collection of information that most closely reflects how the world really works. But because science is a human endeavor, the information we gather can be flawed, wrong, and incomplete, and the conclusions we draw from that information can be biased and misleading.

Today, it’s more important than ever to know the difference between real science and falsehoods. In our modern world science gives us new medical treatments, new ways to provide energy for our homes, and new ways to provide food, clothing, and shelter to millions of people. Modern science has also produced a variety of unintended consequences for people and the planet we live on. Industrial waste pollutes our rivers and oceans, plastics dominate our landfills, and antibiotic resistance threatens the lives of millions. As a result, there is a growing separation among people who trust modern science and those who don’t. Divisions separate those who trust in vaccines and those who don’t, those who believe in climate change and those who don’t, and those who seek alternative medicines and those who don’t, and the list goes on.

So what can we do to bridge this gap, taking the best of modern science, limiting the worst, and handing all that we know to the next generation? At Real Science-4-Kids, we believe offering kids the most up-to-date scientific information written for their age and reading level is the first step towards helping the next generation learn science in a reasoned, balanced, careful, ethical, compassionate, and factual manner. We also believe that helping kids understand the connections between science and other disciplines like the arts, technology, philosophy, history, and language deepens their understanding of real science and furthers their understanding of how the world works.

From Suzanne

We have been delighted with the curriculum and have already recommended it to a number of people.  We are all learning so much and it is so clear and easy to understand.  I am an RN, and this is the clearest teaching in chemistry I have ever seen.  I wish that I had been able to use it for my now graduated children.

—Suzanne

From Diane

“I wanted to share something pretty exciting about your Chemistry II book! My son, Davey, is a student at New Mexico Tech in Socorro. He is taking chemistry this semester, and it is his very first exposure to the subject, ever. He’s a pretty smart guy, and has had no trouble with algebra, trig., calc., or physics, but has been just overwhelmed with the amount and difficulty of the information in his chemistry class. He had Friday off, due to Homecoming activities, and came up to the house. I’d told him about your book, and he spent three hours poring over it. Then several more hours on Saturday. His enthusiasm was tremendous. He said that concepts which had been presented in the most difficult manner possible in his college text, were suddenly clear to him after reading your book. He said that he feels as if he has a foundation, now, but really needs the next book—to bridge the still-wide gap to his college text. Is there a Chemistry III? If so, I will buy it for him immediately.”  Diane