General Science and Teaching

How can science be more fun and exciting for students?

Good day teachers! Science is really an awesome subject,  right? We can see and appreciate that as a teacher.  I would want my students to have the same thought of it as well. How can i make Science more fun and exciting yet effective for their learning?  I would love to hear your thoughts about this.  Thanks everyone! 

Ma. Donnabel Joloan
Ma. Donnabel Joloan
10 Activity Points

Hello!

Science is indeed an awesome subject! A great way to make your students more involved and interested is simply doing hands on activities. I have learned that students learn best and engage more when there is a hands on activity, rather than a text book or video (where students zone out).

This website is a great resource to do so: https://www.education.com/activity/science/

Hope this helps!

Brooke

Brooke Edwards
Brooke Edwards
463 Activity Points

I totally agree, science is an amazing subject! One thing I have learned when trying to make science fun and effective is when students have the chance to drive the learning. When in the classroom, allow students the opportunity to choose what they want to learn or give them different options to choose from. This allows students to feel a sense of control and ownership of their learning which will hopefully lead to students being more engaged. Students are also naturally curious about our world and science is the best way to introduce those topics so implement subjects that will interest your students. In your classroom, try to incorparate hands on activities or demonstrations. When students have the opportunity to learn in different modes through hands on activities or witnessing a demonstration allows students to gain a deeper understanding but also build more curiosity which is exciting for most students. When students have the opportunity to control their own learning they tend to become more excited and take ownership of their learning which makes science instruction fun and effective.

Megann Kinseth

Pre-Service Teacher

Megann Kinseth
Megann Kinseth
80 Activity Points

I find that students seem to really enjoy science whenever they are able to relate what we're learning about in the classroom to their daily lives. Finding ways to make the content relevant really gets the students involved in discussions. I remember teaching about recycling, I introduced the topic of microplastics and how they impact our lives. Students were really able to connect with this information because they were able to see how it impacted each of their lives personally. Another big thing to get students excited about science is allowing them to recieve hands-on learning. Students love labs and feeling involved. Whenever students were able to partipate in hands-on learning, I noticed that they retained more of the knowledge and that they were able to apply what they learned.

Adrian Rife
Adrian Rife
930 Activity Points

Make it relatable. Make the subject matter to them. If it is about fossils have it be a fossil dig. Agriculture makes it about their states numbers. While having creative ideas is important making it relateable is also just as important.

Jillian Priess
Jillian Priess
1085 Activity Points

Hello! My name is Annika Amundson and I am a Senior at the University of Northern Iowa! I am currently in a science methods course and feel I have learned a lot about how to keep students engaged with fun activities! First of all making sure they are hands on activities is one important factor. Another way to keep students involved is making sure your lessons use a phenomenon. This semester we created mini units to use in our future classrooms, and making sure they all revolved around a phenomenon was really important! When students are working with a phenomenon, it gives them more interest in solving the problem for themselves. I have also learned that using the 5 E model (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate) is a great way create engaging lessons that interest the students! Below is a link to a website that I found with a bunch of different phenomenons I think are interesting. Maybe you could possibly use them in your classroom for the studetns to explore.

https://www.ngssphenomena.com/

Annika Amundson
Annika Amundson
2645 Activity Points

Hello!

You can make science fun while remaining effective by making activities that are interactive and peak the students interests. No student wants to be bored in a class staring at a textbook and a the teacher for the entirety of the lesson. Instead they want to be invovled in making projects, they want to be doing hands on things that stimulate their brains and senses. You can also play educational games in class that will surely be a hit with the students because who doesn't like having fun while learning?

-Gustavo

Gustavo Sanabria
Gustavo Sanabria
525 Activity Points

I once did an informal action research study with a colleague. We asked students what made them become interested in or excited about a topic in school (we were studying science and social studies). The number one answer was -- the teachers. The students described how their teachers shared their personal interests, their experiences, their questions. Their teachers crafted a variety of learning experiences that extended beyond factual knowledge and the classroom.

You are excited about science, so demonstrate that excitement (even for topics that students might not find interesting at first). Share what turned you on to science. Mention articles you have read, shows you watched, your science-related travels or volunteer work. Use a variety of teaching strategies to appeal to student interests (writing, experimenting, sketching, discussions, photography). You're right--science is awesome! -- Mary B

Mary Bigelow
Mary Bigelow
10110 Activity Points

Mary is spot on!  Be an example of how someone can love science, be passionate about it and see awe and wonder in the universe around us!  One thing we tend to do as science teachers is to come across as the expert.  I believe that the more you play 'dumb' and ask the students to figure out things you make the learning experiences richer for them.  It is totally ok to admit that you don't know everything - but that you are willing to find out and can show them how they, too, can and should find out the answers to their questions.  Allow students to develop activities on subjects that they are interested in so that they have a vested interest in finding the answers.  For instance, if you have a student who is very keen about volleyball is there some topic they can explore in volleyball that fits into the curriculum?

Hope this helps!  Great question!

Gabe Kraljevic

 

Gabe Kraljevic
Gabe Kraljevic
4174 Activity Points

I agree with both Mary and Gabe, that it is important to let our students know what interest us as teacher and be able to shere that with them. Another way that I would try to make science interesting in engaging is to make hands on activities and maybe make them feel as scientist or archeologists. You could just try to make them feel part of the science world. Instead of staying with worksheets which it woul not be as interesting.-Laura

 

Laura Cortez
Laura Cortez
200 Activity Points

Mary is correct, teachers need to act as positive role models and to let their passion towards the subject show in order for the students to become engaged. Too add on, you can also make the science classroom more interesting by allowing the students to interact with one another by engaging them in hands-on activities. Allow your students to explore and create an environment in which they can feel comfortable to ask all the questions they desire.

Cristal Rodriguez
Cristal Rodriguez
250 Activity Points

Personally, I feel that the best way to make students really engaged in science is to make the lessons hands-on. There are so many concepts and topics in science that are difficult for students to grasp through just listening to the teacher lecture or completing worksheets. I think every science lesson should have a hands-on activity. It gets the kids moving, communicating, critically thinking, and it gets them engaged without getting bored of the content. I think that science is one of those subjects that is either hit or miss for students, and I think that is there a lot of the problems start. I know that when I was in grade school, I didn't like science because I thought it was hard and boring. Also, just as everyone else pointed out, the teacher has to be excited and enaged in the material just as they want their students to be. 

Hands-on science activities don't have to be super intricate and a lot of work. I think that as long as kids have some kind of movement and interaction with the lesson, they are more likely to engage in the material, and even more likely to understand it. 

Attachments

Lauren O'Leary
Lauren O'Leary
490 Activity Points

Student engagement is not the result of one ingredient. Students engage because they are inspired, intrigued, and involved. As Mary stated, the relationships between the teacher and students can create an environment in which the student feels safe and comfortable. Engagement is an act of vulnerability and risk-taking. The teacher makes that happen. Teachers (and all school staff) must create a culture where all voices are heard, all students feel accepted for who they are, and students are given agency over their own learning. When students are inspired they will take the risks needed to learn.

Engaging students in STEM with intriguing phenomena and problems draws them into the content by getting them to ask questions. Curiosity or intrigue is what drives all STEM at all levels. The teacher can surprise and engage students by presenting interesting videos, demonstrations, or hands-on tasks that inspire questions and cause students to "lean in". Again, the teacher's role is critical because they are provide the environment and stimuli for the intrigue.

Some STEM content can threaten students' world view. Climate change, evolution, vaccinations, geologic time, race as a social contruct and even the shape of the planet are topics that are debated in the public sphere through social media. These topics are also the most engaging because of the surrounding controversy, warrented or not. Students engage to get answers. Involving students in questioning, experimentation, research of original documents, cross-curricular projects, citizen science, and community action propels students to the highest level of learning and engagement: synthesis, application, and creativity.

There is no one magic bullet for student engagement but we know that the teacher's role is absolutely critical. How teachers use the research and strategies is equally important. We have to remember that we are the adults in the room: we set the tone, provide the opportunities for growth, and enable students to feel safe enough to question themselves.

Cheryl Manning
Cheryl Manning
560 Activity Points

Hello!

In the classrooms I have been in I noticed that the most intruiging way for them to learn science, was to surprise them that they were even learning anything! An assignment I noticed that the children loved was making planets out of paper maché. Each child picked which planet they wanted, painted it, learned one fact to write about it, and placed them all over the room for decoration. Not only were they happy because they got to see their art posted in the classroom, but this activity also kept them interested to the point where they were able to learn facts about all of the planets! Science is a great subject and when you show them that it is all around them, they will love it too!

Gabriella Fiorino
Gabriella Fiorino
395 Activity Points

You can make science more fun and exciting by letting students take intiative when it comes to learning! This can mean incorporating hands-on learning activities and let them ask questions about the objects and materials they are exploring with. Additionally, science can be more fun for students when it gets connected to the real world as it shows them why they are doing or learning about is important. 

Monica Malila
Monica Malila
2810 Activity Points

I have recently been brainstroming ideas on how to make science more "fun and exciting" for students as well. I have noticed a trend that students respond in a positive manner to more abstract science concepts when you find a way to relate the material to their own personal experiences or something they have an extreme interest in. Another way to get students excited about material that might be less relevant in their lives, such as atom movement and balancing equations, is to allow the students to pick ways to express themselves in the material that they know. For example, if you are really struggling to get through a unit about atom movement and chemical balancing, ask your students for ideas on how they would make the material more exciting for them. When you give students responsbilities, they often step up to the plate because they typically like their voices being heard.

Jessica Sanzenbacker
Jessica Sanzenbacker
80 Activity Points

I agree with everyone that says hands-on activities. THIS IS SCIENCE! Students need to be engaged in the scientific phenomenon to learn it, understand it, connect to it, and most importantly enjoy it! When students like what they are doing, they will always be able to make stronger connections. This will only lead to a better understanding of the content and a better classroom atmosphere. Starting out every new topic or content with a mini, or ongoing, experiment will instantly peak student interest and get them wanting to know and learn more. This experiment will then provide you with a point of reference to always make with the concepts taught. Also staying engaged and excited yourself as the teacher will also go a long way. If your enthusiastic about the content, your students will be too! No student, whether 1st or 12th grade, likes a teacher that just lectures every class. Having hands-on activities provides students with an opportunity for exploration, discussion, and better connections. Attached is a TEDTalk that I really enjoy watching and referencing!

Attachments

Reanna Reilly
Reanna Reilly
785 Activity Points

I agree that hands on activities is the best way to engage students and make science fun for them. By allowing them to physically perform the behavior is essential to their learning. Allowing students to work together and motivate them as a group is allowing them to take control of their learning. I performed a fossil dig activity with my students and they were engaged and working with one another for 2 weeks. I felt they learned a great deal and they had a blast doing so!

Dakota Grosscup
Dakota Grosscup
775 Activity Points

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