I’m not a very big fan of science and it wasn’t my favorite subject at school; however, if there’s one thing about science that I remember fondly and would still be interested in today, it’s the practical projects we did in middle school. It was a time when I enjoyed science class, simply because most lessons were hands-on in that we were taught how and encouraged to make working models of theories we had listened to the previous class. And so we made working volcanoes that spouted realistic ash in chemistry class; we designed siphons that allowed us to see how water and other liquids could flow in the upwards direction, defying gravity, in physics class; and we grew our own plants and learned about photosynthesis by observing it firsthand in botany.
While some teachers would argue that projects are a waste of time, the majority know that they’re the best way to not just learn about science, but also remember what you’ve learnt throughout your life. Besides this, projects offer the following benefits too:
- They make science more interesting: There’s no doubt that a class that involves hands-on work is much more interesting and preferable to one that comprises only boring theoretical lectures. Projects generate interest in science by inducing curiosity in students and encouraging them to delve deeper into the many layers of the subject. They pose a challenge that students are driven to achieve, and because of this, they look forward to science classes instead of dreading them.
• They bring out the engineer in you: The link between science and engineering comes out strong and clear when you get down to creating working models for your project. You combine out your mathematical and engineering knowledge to come with the perfect scale models that not only look authentic but which also work without a hitch. You go back to the drawing board when there are errors or when your results are not accurate and you research other sources so that your project is better than those of your classmates.
• They tap your creativity: The theory may be the same, but there may be many practical ways to implement it. So even if your whole class is given the same project, your team strives to be the most creative. You don’t have a whole lot of room to maneuver and the competition is tough; this is a situation that gets your juices flowing and encourages you to come out with a stunning design and implementation of the theory.
• They help you understand science better: It’s easy to see that science becomes simpler to understand and learn when working models demonstrate the theoretical equations and principles you read from your textbook. You look at the subject as a means of explaining our world and how things work rather than as just text that must be memorized in order to secure a passing grade in your exams.
• They encourage teamwork: And finally, projects foster teamwork and encourage bonding with the others in your team. This helps you prepare for real-life situations in work environments where you will most likely be part of a team and must know how to interact with the others smoothly and in good cheer.
Science projects must be encouraged not just by teachers, but by school administrations as well in order to boost interest in the subject and encourage more students to base a career on it.
This guest post is contributed by Beatrice Owen, she writes on the topic of bachelors of science . She welcomes your comments at her email id: owen1.beatrice(@)gmail(.)com.