How I stimulate enthusiasm for science and technology in my classroom
By Mrs Petra Taljaard, Natural Science Teacher: Meyerspark Primary School
I connect science to everyday life
Science is all around us. Always connect science to everyday life. Play with the learners; let them experience all the ‘Booms’, ‘Bangs’, ‘Oohs’, ‘Aahs’ and ‘Wows’ of science. I believe that learners learn more from ‘play’ and ‘do’ than from textbooks. Books should be there to explain what they see.
I use tech to keep them running to class!
Our science clubs, Olympiads, expos and participation in competitions take learners out of the classroom and into science. The use of technology in the classroom, such as data projectors, visualisers, videos and play-play electronics, keeps learners running to class!
The occasional ‘magic tricks’ also teach learners something to impress younger siblings.
No child is ever too big for rewards
I believe no child is ever too big for rewards. Stickers and cheap ‘nick-nack’ toys or stationery from places like Crazy Store, work excellently as rewards for work done to expectation (even moderate work from weaker learners deserves acknowledgement). Of course, every learner would like to see their names on the classroom ‘Wall of Fame’.
Science excursions are the best!
Approach companies in the area, such as shops that sell bottled water, or local civil engineers, and arrange visits for the learners. Make sure that you as the teacher are a lifelong learner and be able to use the latest technology. Learners are eager teachers.
I embrace the ‘evil’ cell phones
Use the ‘evil’ cell phone to your advantage for the occasional research of phenomena like ‘blood moon’; ‘Mars’; ‘journey of Juno to Jupiter’; or ‘planned mission of unmanned spaceship to the sun’. Stay current and hands-on. Stop your lessons from time to time to highlight the devastating effects of floods, earthquakes, tsunamis etc. so that learners have something to talk about at home.
Finally, make science a living experience for our learners. Remember, science is fun!