Figuring out the mechanics behind the bottle-rocket, testing the solutions that made a volcano erupt, and exploring entomology through various bug collections were just some of the top science exploration activities many can recall growing up and they all have had a profound impact on science understanding. These three staple activities, however, are not the only ways that students have access to real-world experiments during the new age of 21st Century classrooms and advanced technology.
Science holds many keys to understanding the world around us. It can also be one of the more difficult subject matters that educators find themselves teaching to students. One of those reasons is because of the amount of time it takes to carry out hands-on activities and real-world experiments, and the time that is allotted during a normal class schedule. This sometimes leads students to leave questions at the door, or forget about an activity altogether as they move from one classroom setting another. To combat this, many schools and districts have directed efforts in obtaining additional tools to promote continued student inquiry in STEM courses.
Those tools can include hosting after-school programs or camps that are centered on a science discipline and explored through missions and experiments. For instance, STEMrangers by STEMscopes™ provides educators with the necessary tools to host a 'Science Night' for their school. During the Science Night, students have the main mission of finding solutions to various real-world STEM challenges and activating their local network of students, parents, teachers, and campuses. This helps students increase their science understanding, but also promotes the teacher-student-parent partnership as each play an integral role during the mission.
This resource and many others that are available for learning science outside of the classroom can be broken down or enhanced in order to reach all grade levels. Many educators find that science exploration can be done at any age and enhances students' ability to comprehend and interpret necessary material for their future courses.
Is hosting a 'Science Night' not possible? No problem— a vast amount of online communities, blogs, and websites house countless resources for individuals that are looking to grow their at-home catalog of real-world experiments and problem-solving activities. Many parents find that even if they are incapable of attending school functions outside of the classroom, they can still provide their child an opportunity to explore science on their own by finding outlines that can be easily interpreted and followed.
Increased scientific inquiry is possible for students with the right tools. As the 21st Century classroom grows and technology becomes more advanced, educators will have the advantage of providing students with many activities outside of the classroom to take them beyond comprehension and better prepare them for the future.
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