Whether young people like science or not affects how well they do in science subjects and how likely they are to consider science-related careers. Parents have an important role to play in fostering positive attitudes to science. What's more, science is an excellent platform for learning, as it encourages problem-solving, communication, observation and teamwork.
Encouraging your children to appreciate the joy and applicability of science in your everyday lives can be simple and fun!
Here are some tips to engage in science as a family:
Explore — Encourage your children to ask questions and ask questions of them. Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? One question can often lead to another and another. See how many you can ask at one time!
Seek out — When questions arise, investigate the answers — on the internet, at the library, from the teacher and from books. But don't feel like you have to know everything. "I don't know” encourages children to continue asking questions, even if they don't know the answers.
Get active — Try experimenting with objects in your everyday lives. Play around the house or yard. It can be simple — leave some water out in a glass, put pennies in cola, leave the baking powder out of a recipe, etc. Ask the question, "what happens when...?" and then try it! (Just don't forget safety!) See our hands-on activities for ideas of what you can do with your children around your home.
Get involved — Find good science resources. Encourage your child to enjoy science-oriented TV programming, books, web sites, and games. Try science-oriented summer camps. Resources can be found everywhere, of all different types.
Be a role model — If you are open to learning, it’s likely your children will be too! Discuss items of interest, show a willingness to ask questions, and seek answers. Showing a positive attitude toward science can 'rub off’ on your children. Try watching science-oriented TV programs yourself, or with your child, or find science workshops or public lectures in your community. Visit our events section for details on upcoming Let's Talk Science events!
Make it relevant — Science is important to everyone's daily life. You can help instill this in your children by talking about issues in the news with a science focus, or by exploring science during the course of daily activities. For example — What does soap do? Where does dust come from? Why do we sneeze? How do cars work? Why don't bridges fall? Do stars twinkle? Relevance is a key tool in how children learn.