If we look back on our own childhood and the time we spent in school, we often don’t remember the Laws and Theorems we had studied back then. A lot of us just mugged it up, and didn’t really understand what it meant or how it was derived or how it works. Our textbooks were never very illustrative when it comes to helping us understand mathematics and science. But those science projects that we spent a lot of time making, those practical experiments that we did in the laboratories and all those little do-it-and-learn puzzles that we solved happen to be among things from school we remember so well, as if it happened just yesterday.
Science is different from any other subject. In order to help students understand its concepts, one has to go beyond books and the conventional teaching methods. The knowledge that kids attain could be ineffectual, unless and until they get a chance to observe and understand the processes and the relationships between the actions and the reactions.
Effective teaching and learning of science involves a perpetual state of show and tell. Good schools combine classroom teaching with laboratory experiments to ensure that their students grasp each and every concept thoroughly. It is also believed that laboratory teaching and experiments that are being conducted there help encourage deep understanding in children. Children are able to retain the knowledge for longer when they see the experiments being performed in front of their eyes.
Practical equipments and models turn simple learning into experiential learning. When students get an opportunity to perform an experiment and work a model, it helps them understanding the underlying principles. Using models to understand scientific theories and concepts also increases the retention of the concepts in the children’s minds manifold.
Teaching science could be a challenge in itself at times. Manipulating random objects and materials to help explain something better could often get let’s say, difficult. In such times, having a model – maybe an anatomical model, or maybe a science kit, or a model to explain that twisted law or theorem, something to make something as heavy as air pressure and gravitational acceleration seem simple and easy to comprehend.
Did you know by utilizing simple science models, it has been found that there is an increased interest in scientific research and also in the subject in students. Would all the scientific and medical research and advancements that we see in the world today, have been possible without our schools, our basic first institutes imparting education, having prepared such intelligent and dedicated students.
Worth a thought, ain’t it? We are not just educating students, we are setting impressions on young minds, we are actually building our future. And we want a future where people only know what the books says, but also how it’s done and why it’s done. STEM models are the future.
Ashutosh Pandit is the founder of STEM Learning Pvt Ltd. He has setup more than 40 Mega and Mini Science Centres in various districts of Maharashtra to promote activity-based learning in schools under CSR. STEM Learning Pvt Ltd offers teacher training and periodic assessment model. Training modules are available in Hindi, English and vernacular languages. STEM Learning provides appropriate branding for corporate sponsoring the Mini Science Centre at the entrance, exhibits and social media. To know visit http://stemlearning.in/
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