The Importance of Learning Science

The Importance of Learning Science – It’s not always obvious that science shapes our daily lives, but the fact is science impacts countless decisions we make each day. From managing our health and well-being, choosing paper over plastic at the grocery store, or answering a child who asks why the sky is blue, science has an important role in our lives.* More than ever before, educators need to employ teaching strategies that inspire and prepare children to embrace science and potentially pursue it in their college and career choices.

Science is the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical, social, and natural worlds through observation and experimentation. It’s key to innovation, global competitiveness, and human advancement. It’s important that the world continues to advance the field of science, whether it’s finding new cures for cancer and other diseases or identifying and exploring new galaxies.

The Importance of Learning Science

The Value of Learning Science

Beyond the potential scientific breakthroughs, there are individual benefits to learning science, such as developing our ability to ask questions, collect information, organize and test our ideas, solve problems, and apply what we learn. Even more, science offers a powerful platform for building confidence, developing communication skills, and making sense of the world around us—a world that is increasingly shaped by science and technology.*

Science also involves a lot of communication with other people and develops patience and perseverance in children. Finding answers to their countless “why” questions pushes children to research and form their own opinions instead of taking others’ for granted. While it’s easy to go along with another child’s answer or pull out a smartphone and do a quick internet search to know why the leaves fall from the trees, a healthy dose of skepticism can take children farther as they explore the world around them and tackle some of its challenging questions.†

Teaching Strategies for Educators

There is an increasing need for scientists, engineers, and innovators. America’s future depends on the nation’s educators to use hands-on and minds-on activities to make science interesting, engaging, and inspiring. However, a career in education, especially science education, can be challenging. Judith Fraivillig, associate professor at Rider University, says kids tend to make up their minds about whether they like or dislike math and science by the fourth grade.‡

The consensus among students and educators is that science should be fun to learn and teach.

“Engaging students in science content requires educators to help students see themselves as scientists and engineers instead of passively observing other people doing the work of science,” said Melyssa Ferro, a science teacher, Walden University graduate, and Idaho’s 2016 State Teacher of the Year. “It is about creating opportunities for them to see science in application instead of just reading about it in a textbook.” Complex textbooks are important to have, but if young learners can’t grasp the information and educators aren’t effectively teaching the content then it limits students’ chances for success.

When asked about the role teachers should play, Melyssa Ferro replied that “In this day of instant and global information access, it has become increasingly important for science educators to help students develop science process skills instead of focusing solely on the memorization of a body of facts. Science should be a verb instead of a noun.” Some of the teaching strategies educators are using to promote science include problem-based learning, incorporating educational technology into the lesson, and project-based learning.

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