Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Best Practice in Science

Slug on my garage wall - fascinating up close!

Tonight I took part in #scichatnz on Twitter. The discussion was around best practice in Science.  I always find these chats really worthwhile. They help me reaffirm my thoughts about the curriculum especially when I am unsure if I am looking at it from the right perspective.

I am a big lover of science.  Biology would be my area of most enjoyment. Plants, nature oh and birds!  I love native birds! I have a membership to Zealandia and I've also joined #birdclub to join up with some other ornithological minded people. I am always fascinated by my world around me.

My catchphrase in the classroom is "Science is everywhere". Because it is. It is growing, breathing, changing, developing and occurring around us constantly. It is not something that is hidden - it likes to show you all its magic tricks.

We can all be scientists because we can use our senses to observe. We can listen and look and feel and experience science happening. It doesn't matter if you are a researcher in a laboratory or a 7yr old in a classroom, the same principles apply.

One of my favourite places to get science information is on Twitter. @Runningwhio runs #SCIENTSSaturday and tweets about some amazingly interesting stuff.

I also enjoy RadioNZ podcasts "The World Around Us", The Moth Science podcasts, David Attenborough TV programmes and Masterchef.

Yes Masterchef!  Science at its best!  Cooking is great science.

I also learn a lot off my students who seem to be fact-finding machines at age 7 and 8. Today a student told me an interesting fact about the planet Titon in regards to us reading an article about glow in the dark ice-cream.  The kids always get books with facts in them out of the library. A book titled "Pestilence and Plague" is a favourite at the moment.

So best practice to me is about engaging students with the real world, with real people (can't wait for the chemistry lecturer parent who is coming in next term to make potions), and with real events. Let them lead with what knowledge they want to find out and most of all have hands on fun!  Learning is doing!