Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Little Scientists

The other day at work, I was clearing out an ancient portfolio to do with the District Science Fair. One page caught my eye and I rescued it from the To Be Recycled pile.

It was a page of tips on helping to awaken childrens' interest in science.

Two of them, in particular, interested me:

First, it is just as important to involve Girls in science as it is boys. That ought to be common knowledge by now. Girls can, and should be encouraged, to do anything (anything intelligent!) that boys can do. If you don't believe that Girls/Women are just as smart as boys/men and just as capable, I feel sorry for you, as this world -- in which Women are succeeding and achieving wherever the artificial barriers of bad laws and faulty tradition have been demolished -- must really be confusing for you.

Secondly, parents should let their children take apart old appliances. It whets their natural curiosity and leads to questions and interest in how things work.

It sounds like a great idea but it certainly requires some supervision, as a lot of appliances these days have dangerous parts inside, and those shouldn't be on the list.

But today at work, I was looking at an old, broken camera. It seems perfectly safe and I think I'll take it home and let my Niece have at it with a screwdriver.


Chase March said...

Those are great ideas. Boys have a natural curiosity that makes them want to destroy things. I see it often enough in my class.

But seriously, taking things apart to see how they work is great scientific investigation. I wanted to bring in old VCRs so students can see all the pulleys and gears inside to compliment our current science unit. Now, I just need to get my hands on a few.

Rebecca said...

Never thought to let Christopher have at an old appliance. I will do that with the next machine that has met its end.

As for fostering a girls interest in science and math, yes, it would seem obvious. But I think the prevailing mentality still is that an intelligent woman is somehow less feminine. Gah!!

Trisia said...

Eh, old appliances. Nothing like messing with door knobs, locks and other associated mechanisms. And you only need a screwdriver to ruin them all.

Janice Thomson said...

Dad taught my brothers this. Each year they would take apart an old tractor and reassemble from scratch - it took the whole winter but it was how they learned to fix things themselves on a farm. I never was mechanically inclined but I did like archeology, geology and the like and Dad always made sure I had books on these subjects and we took frequent trips to museums and the like. I think both genders have a natural curiosity that parents need to recognize and satisfy.