TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Basic science concepts can be difficult to illustrate at home. If you're a parent or grandparent, your own science days may be years, even decades, behind you. Doing Science Together, a new initiative of the Center for Integrating Research & Learning (CIRL) at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, now offers small and large groups opportunities to learn inventive and simple ways to make connections between their everyday world and science.
This free program offers kids and adults of all ages a chance to learn about their world with hands-on activities that help participants:
- Make connections between science and their world
- Ask and answer questions
- Think scientifically
- Gain a sense of adventure and curiosity
- Address "Big Science Ideas" with simple activities that can be done at home with basic materials.
Programs are tailored to each group's needs. Activities may feature listening walks, 10-minute field trips, or picture books to expand science vocabulary.
Doing Science Together will visit the Tallahassee Mall Barnes and Noble from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 15 and Nov. 19. The event will start with a reading of a science-themed children's book followed by a hands-on activity. Attendees will receive lots of ideas for teachable science experiences that families can explore together at home.
"An activity called 'floating and sinking' is an example of an activity we might do," said Center Director Pat Dixon. "We take a bunch of fruits and vegetables and ask children which ones they think will float and which ones will sink. Children are often surprised to see some very large items float and smaller ones sink, and it's an opportunity to teach them about why things float in a very hands-on, tangible way."
Sample Activity: Listening Walk
- Sound is a type of energy
- Sound occurs when matter vibrates
- Sound vibrations cannot be seen but can be felt
Grab a clipboard or a notebook and go on a walk with a child. Help that child to concentrate on the sounds you hear during the walk.
- Which sounds are loud and which are quiet?
- Which are near and which are far?
- Can you tell if something is big or small from the sound you hear?
- What kind of people, animal, weather and machine noises do you hear?