Yes, it's Science Week! (And, yes, I used to teach high school science.) So wandering around the store this week, I dusted off my 'science hat' and with fresh eyes went on the look out for some new ways to highlight STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) to our next generation. Well, really, science is all around us, all the time, and there are so many ways to get the kids involved in developing their early numeracy, scientific literacy and technology skills.
Some of our favourite little toys in store are great examples of science in action. Look for toys that have magnetism, levers and pulleys, photoluminescence (glow-in-the-dark), prisms or balancing forces. Early numeracy development isn't just counting; it includes days of the week, matching pairs, size and shape sorting, more and less quantities, mass, volume...it's endless.
Check out these clever toys:
|Levers & Pulleys - Crane Set||Photoluminescence (Glow In The Dark) - Card Game||Magnetism - Wooden Blocks|
|Maths Teaching Bocks||Physics - DIY Speaker Kit||Prisms - Fly's Eyes|
At home, on a basic level, you don't have to do a whizz-bang experiment (although bi-carb soda and vinegar will always delight (ANZAC biscuits, anyone?!). There are so many opportunities for early numeracy and scientific skills just in a simple batch of muffins or biscuits.
Science is often about observing and explaining differences. For example, why did some of the muffins rise evenly and others did not? What do you think would happen if we added less/extra of this ingredient? Some skills like measuring liquids, weighing dry ingredients, being accurate (too little or too much might change the results) can help in explaining differences in the finished product too.
Here are some great websites for information, ideas or simple at-home activities :