May the Force be with You: Physical Science and your Child

By Lisa Niver Rajna, M.A. Ed.
Lisa NiverThe California Department of Education states “We are all born with natural curiosity about our world. Science is an extension of this curiosity. When we read about a new discovery, watch a bird fly, or think about how something works, we are doing science. When we pursue knowledge we are doing science.” Unfortunately many adults have at least one bad memory from Science Class. Others tell me, “I cannot volunteer in Science class, I am not good at science.”

We owe it to ourselves, our future and our children to learn to love science. As I tell the students, “Science is everywhere!” and I promise Science isn’t scary! I hope I can help you and your child learn to love science.

Your elementary school child may need help to realize that physics is a part of science; they mainly think of mad scientists in a lab with beakers and potions as the only thing that is really science. Make a game with your child to find bridges, new buildings and any construction. Tell them they are an architect and help them to BUILD! Legos are great but it is great to be able to eat your buildings!

As part of our simple machines unit, on of our favorite activities is to build houses out of gumdrops and toothpicks and then draw our creations on this gum drop paper!

You can also try these great sites with your child:
All about simple machines: try to find ten simple machines in each room of the house, (you can email me if you get stuck! There is at least one sneaky machine in each room!)
Friction: Find the best track surfaces to make the car go the furthest.
Forces in Action: How far will the truck go?

Enjoy learning about forces (a force is a push or pull) with these great online sites. Encourage your future architect or engineer with some great books from the incredible National Women’s History Project. March is Women’s History Month and the 2011 theme is “Our History is our Strength.”

Here’s hoping that the force will be with you as you and your child explore physical science!

Lisa Niver Rajna, M.A. Ed. With over 12 years of classroom teaching experience and an additional 11 years working in camps and on cruise ships, you will always get great science experiments and experiential learning from Lisa.

“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” – — Confucius