‘Nurturing’ a Science career in kids relies heavily on the Education System of a country. Different countries have varying education systems. Despite these differences, all education systems should be integrated with the 21st Century skills which will enhance interest in Science related careers. The 21st Century skills include; Creativity, Critical thinking & Innovation, Collaboration, Communication, Information literacy, Media literacy and Technology literacy.
Many parents wish their kids to join Science related careers later in life but do not know what to do at early ages of their kids’ school life. Here are the basics to be inculcated in kids to enhance their interest in science and future science related careers.
1. Provide a ‘laboratory’
A ‘laboratory’ here means, any available space where kids will have hands-on-experience for example colour matching. Exploring different materials e.g. sand, water, dough and paint will allow them engage with nature and explore various activities which will not only spark their interest in science, but also encourage language development as they describe texture and properties of different materials. This will aid optimal physical and mental health. Moreover, it will allow exploration of all the 5 senses.
2. Mastering the basics of Science
Any strong building requires a strong foundation. Mastering of basics in Science is done by creating activities that kids learn science by making observations through sorting, moulding, sticking, cutting or manipulation to help them develop precision needed in real-world tasks. For example in cooking or baking show them how to mix different ingredients and why mix them. There are a number of Science activities kids are involved in everyday in playing, eating, washing among others.
3. Science language
The major language of science is Mathematics. Play games and toys will enable them learn counting and be ‘lab technicians’ doing experiments and making observations. For example using soap and water, create bubbles, let them count them and let them compete on who among them creates the largest bubbles!
4. ‘Reading’ outside their books
Sticking only to school syllabus should be discouraged. Let kids explore nature as much as they can. The more they interact with nature. The more they understand the nature and science around them and the clearer the basics in science become. Allow them watch science cartoons, movies and play games ‘around’ science.
5. Never study for the exams
Science is factual and has the beauty of explaining the behavior of nature. Never insist to the kid that he/she must score high in exams, instead let the kids understand that exams are mainly preparing them for level in learning. After high school, scientific concepts and skills are learnt and acquired at artisan, certificate, diploma or degree levels. In all these levels it is only the in-depth of the content and skills that differs, the science is the same!