Creating the Best Math and Science Educational Experiences for Youth

In the almost 15 years since I’ve graduated from high school I’ve notice the major changes in how children are educated. I feel like I’m not old enough to be say when I was a kid things were different, but I’m saying that on a regular basis. When I was a child, parents and educators seemed to work together more to provide a quality education for children. There were learning experiences both at home and in school. I have memories of conducting science experiments both at home and in school as early as elementary school. However, I am realizing that kids today don’t have the same opportunity that I did during my K-12 education.

All students don’t have an equal opportunity to have a great science educational experience. I have been spending time in schools and am realizing that kids aren’t engaged in enough hands on science or science that is relevant to them that make them interested in science. I was having a conversation with a 5th grader and he was talking about what he learned in science class that day. What they learned bored me to death, they were talking about a scientist that is dead and technology that is obsolete. I know that science history is an important part of science, but kids should be learning something that is relevant and current and about scientists that are alive today. But thing that I was grateful was that at least this student was learning science. I’m always curious how the state science and mathematics standards are chosen. Is the curriculum team made up of a diversity of math and science educators and professionals? Do they select the material based that provide the students with a strong foundation as well as engage them in the subjects? Do they select a curriculum that all school districts will be able to implement, including those districts and schools with limited resources? Do they consider if the curriculum is academically preparing them for post secondary education and pursuing careers in these subjects? I believe that a strong curriculum should include all these elements to ensure the academic success of our children in math and science.

In addition, most state curriculum the core subjects are language arts, math, social studies and science. However the priority of instructional time in our schools, especially in elementary school isn’t always focused on equal preparation in all subject areas. There are studies that show that elementary students don’t always get an adequate amount of science as a part of their curriculum. There are various reasons for this; the main reason is that not enough resources are put into science education because science is rarely on the standardized test that has become a critical part of education. Another reason is not all elementary teachers feel comfortable enough to teach their students science. With elementary school being the foundation for learning in all subject areas, if there is no strong foundation for science how will kids excel when they go to middle and high school. This doesn’t create an environment for our kids to excel in science, let alone pursue careers in these fields.

In order for us to provide the best educational experience for our youth, we must hold the educational system accountable for ensuring that all subject areas have equal instructional time. We shouldn’t give more subject areas more instructional time simply because our students will be tested in those subjects. The best way we can hold them in accountable is to build a relationship with the educational system at all levels; the individual schools, school district and state department of education. We want to make sure that our children are academically prepared to enter the future workforce, which will be an educated workforce.

Innovative and Cost Effective Science Educational Toys and Kits

Children are believed to learn more with the help of science educational toys to learn the basic and advance concepts of science. Educational toys are created to aid in the natural process of learning. The youngsters learn through playing while various science kits and toys help them in the stimulation of their brains.

Educational toys are created by keeping two concepts in mind. Firstly, the psychology of the child that is significantly important to design a toy product. Secondly, the products should aid and motivate the child to learn new concepts. Playing and learning is combined together with of these innovative toy products.

Every child is different from the other and has different needs. Some children mull over and improve on their own but a few among them need to have an extra hand to evaluate and stimulate the learning process. They need motivation and guidance to release their fears against complex scientific equations or formulas. Science kits are especially designed for this purpose because they turn difficult and dry subjects into something fun and joyful to learn.

Science kits and gadgets turned the early nineties era into a magical period when the toy manufacturers started using display technology and computing power to create educational toys. The digital toys in the market brought about a new revolutionary change. Thousands of new toys like LCD games replaced the electromechanical toys of the past. The new revolutionary educational toys and games are cost effective and easy to purchase.

Toy companies and manufacturers are continuously in the competition of introducing innovative new educational toys now and then. Electronics and technology have become cheaper enough to create amazing toys to increase the interactivity and stimulation for the children.

Science kits and educational toys are manufactured for the children of every age type. They include all the components and a set of instructions for the child to play and learn. There are also strict standards of health and safety of the toys for the children. Health and safety regulations are employed to use only the best available material for the children to avoid any threat or hazard against the safety of the child. The warning signs and recommended age is also printed on the packaging of the toys.

Some science kits help the child to jump start science fair projects. The child can also find some interesting ideas printed on the instructions manual. There are some science kits available for serious experiments like a chemistry set. Many children are more interested in playing video games. Unlike the general belief video games do not make a child passive. They are quite helpful to increase activity of the mind.

Science educational toys are best if they are chosen appropriately according to the age of the child. The parents should also encourage and allow the child to choose as per their interests. There are many options from butterfly kits to DNA kit and LCD games are available for the stimulation of child’s mind and will forever change the way they retain information.

Science Education and Art Education: The Perfect Pair

After years of touting the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics ) educational programs, many teachers are discovering that by adding an “A” –for ART– student learning will pick up STEAM! This latest understanding of how students learn is changing science education by adding Art education back into the mix. This integrated education approach is developing a proven track record and being incorporated into public, private and homeschool education.

At its inception, the STEM bill authorized over 150 million to help students earn a bachelor’s degrees and teaching credentials. It also provided millions in additional money to help align kindergarten through grade 12 math and science curricula to better prepare students for college.

Now years later, people are asking questions like: Why are math and science viewed as standalone modalities? Why have so many schools dropped Arts education from their curriculum?

For too long, we have wrongly believed that Science and Art education were separate disciplines that demanded different teaching methods. However, now we know that Science and Art, as well as Math and Music are intrinsically related!

Educational researchers are recognizing that it is important to integrate all modalities into STEM lessons. By broadly using an integrated education curriculum, students are able to see how science education is important to aspects of everyday life. Integrated education also affords the opportunity for real-world application of the math and science education knowledge.

The use of Art as the glue that bonds these modalities shows students how form and function are guiding principles. Art is not merely illustrative or decorative, but represents an essential part of the process of inquiry, such as problem finding, problem solving, and communication.

The fervor that propels people to excel at mathematics and science education or engineering and art education are driven by the same desire: the desire to discover the intricacies and beauty in one’s world and chosen work. Furthermore, Art is also integrated into technologies such as engineering in the “form and function” debate. Does form follow function or does function follow form? Either way the two are fundamentally linked. Cars are a perfect example: From the Model-T Ford to the latest concept car, we have seen that the evolution of technology is as much about aesthetics (form) of the product as it is about functionality.

Many of the fundamental concepts of form and function are the same. Line, shape, color, structure/function relationships as well as perspective, patterning, and sequencing are the language of art and science education. Students create “an artistic representation of their ideas and solutions is a valuable way to make learning personal. This allows for a clear understanding of the underpinnings of science principles and how these principles can be extrapolated to solve existing problems. It has been proven that students who previously had difficulty in STEM classes are picking up STEAM quickly!