Science helps answer all those tough questions kids ask, like ‘Why is the sky blue?’ and ‘Where do stars come from?’

[vc_row type=”full_width_background” full_screen_row_position=”middle” bg_color=”#ffffff” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” bottom_padding=”10%” overlay_strength=”1″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_row_inner column_margin=”default” text_align=”left”][vc_column_inner enable_animation=”true” animation=”fade-in-from-bottom” column_padding=”padding-3-percent” column_padding_position=”top-bottom” background_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner enable_animation=”true” animation=”fade-in-from-bottom” column_padding=”padding-3-percent” column_padding_position=”top-bottom” background_color_opacity=”1″ width=”10/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” delay=”100″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1531189282831{padding-top: 4% !important;padding-right: 4% !important;padding-bottom: 4% !important;padding-left: 4% !important;}”]Parent and former high school science teacher Wendy Stacey says science is the perfect subject to complement a child’s natural curiosity.

“It’s practical and relevant and kids embrace it without thinking about it,” she says.

“Science helps answer all those questions kids ask, like ‘Why is the sky blue?’ and ‘How come that pine cone falls down?'”

So when Wendy had the opportunity to help raise funds for science equipment at her children’s school through the P&C, she didn’t think twice.

“Everyone was enthusiastic, from the teachers to the parents. Because they knew that even simple science equipment can liven up a topic and make it easier for children to engage with it.”

Science teaches kids about life

The benefits of learning about science for young kids are enormous, says Kevin Squires, a teacher at Tamworth Public who is employed especially to teach science at the school.

“Science involves a lot of talking and listening to others; it develops patience, too – a lot of the time in science things don’t happen overnight,” he says.

Add to the mix are skills for life such as perseverance, problem-solving and researching.

It can teach children to form their own opinions, rather than taking those of others for granted. Camille Thomson Australian Institute of Policy & Science

“It helps kids to think about what could happen before they do it, to create a hypothesis in their mind. Then kids learn that not everything works the first time. Some experiments fall in a heap and you have to find out what went wrong, and try again,” Kevin says.

Science in school also teaches kids about the way the world works eg, how clothes are made or why volcanoes erupt.

It can spark ideas in kids’ minds that they, too, may one day be capable of creating solutions to big problems such as reducing poverty through the improvement of seed genetics to grow stronger crops, Kevin says.

Science jobs for the future

Camille Thomson, who works on Australian Institute of Policy & Science’s Tall Poppy Campaign, a project to promote science in Australia, says there will be plenty of exciting and worthwhile jobs for kids who study science in the future.

“When we look at science and the discoveries that come through, we’ve only scratched the surface,” Camille says.

Jobs in renewable energies such as solar and hydropower are increasing rapidly. Then there is the conversation that goes with it in terms of preserving plants and animals.

“There is always going to be the study of different habitats as well as the increase in technology in renewable energies,” she says.

Medical research is also going to escalate. Even now, scientists are developing the ‘shoulders’ that future scientists will stand on in terms of cures for diseases.

Importantly, encouraging children to become interested in science can also result in a healthy dose of scepticism, Camille adds.

“It can teach kids to form their own opinions rather than take those of others for granted. In science you’re taught to go about getting a whole lot of information from different people and sources – experts, teachers – it’s not just Googling for the answer online,” she says.

“It’s about saying, ‘I’ve looked at a whole lot of things and made my own opinion’.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Why STEM subjects are important in our schools and in our lives

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[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”full_width_background” full_screen_row_position=”middle” bg_color=”#ffffff” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” bottom_padding=”10%” overlay_strength=”1″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_row_inner column_margin=”default” text_align=”left”][vc_column_inner enable_animation=”true” animation=”fade-in-from-bottom” column_padding=”padding-3-percent” column_padding_position=”top-bottom” background_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner enable_animation=”true” animation=”fade-in-from-bottom” column_padding=”padding-3-percent” column_padding_position=”top-bottom” background_color_opacity=”1″ width=”10/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” delay=”100″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1530846765850{padding-top: 4% !important;padding-right: 4% !important;padding-bottom: 4% !important;padding-left: 4% !important;}”]STEM is a buzzword that has a lot of traction in places like Silicon Valley and the halls of MIT but to many parents and kids it is a foreign term. It is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Science and mathematics are subjects that are regularly seen in primary schools but technology and engineering are often lacking in the main school curriculum.

STEM concepts are regularly taught through coursework but it is important to appreciate that these concepts exhibit themselves in our lives everyday. From paying for groceries at the supermarket, erecting a shelf at home, cooking up a souffle or evaluating the weather, maths, engineering, science and technology play huge roles in our day to day.

Starting the conversation with our children about these concepts and allowing them to engage with them can be an exciting time for their minds and imaginations. From coming to understand the problem behind burnt toast and heat to how germs are spread and washing hands, allowing our kids to delve into and deconstruct the world around them can not only save you a headache but spark a lifelong interest they could pursue.

Involving them in the following basic activities can be the foundation to them going on to be interested in geology, biology, AI and a myriad of other studies that are rapidly changing our world.

Your kids can be easily engrossed in the following tasks:

Baking and cooking – using this process you will be able to explain about nutritional benefits of certain foods, heat dynamics, time management and the properties of gas and/or electricity to name a few.

Musical instruments – many experts say playing an instrument does wonders for the neurological development of children (even adults, so if you want to pick up the violin finally?). Learning an instrument draws upon and evokes many skills from mathematics, reading and collaboration to sound analysis and fine motor skills.

Using appliances at home

This can be a scary one for many parents, allowing kids to use the microwave, oven and stove can be tricky areas but with suitable supervision it can be done safely. Allowing your child to operate and manage these areas can give them a sense of responsibility, awareness and initiative. It can also provide the opportunity to teach about the concept of time, the mechanics of appliances, electricity, heat and its consequences (yes you might have to sacrifice an egg to its charred end). Through allowing them to manage these areas they grow their curiosity for the physical and invisible processes around them and be an engaged human in their world. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]