by Trent Baumbach
Understanding the world around us is at the heart of science education. Traditionally, the learning approach has been theory-driven, with students sitting in a classroom, scribing notes, and taking tests to show prove their science knowledge. Lately, however, an increasing number of educators are advocating for hands-on and experiential science learning. But is this learning change justified?
In short, yes. In fact, a University of Chicago study proved that students who physically experience scientific concepts understand them more deeply and score better on science tests.
Unfortunately, most elementary school curriculum does not dive deep into science, with dedicated science courses generally beginning at the middle school level. To fill this gap, we’ll explore both the benefits of hands-on science for students as well as a few ways for students to get this experience from a young age.
Do you want to improve your chances of getting into a top-tier university? Schedule your consultation with Tokyo Academics today!
While there are countless benefits for students of all ages, below are the 10 main benefits of hands-on science for primary school students.
When science is taught through hands-on experiments, abstract concepts become more tangible. In a study by the National Science Teachers Association, it was observed that students demonstrated a 36% increase in their understanding of scientific concepts when they engaged in hands-on learning, compared to traditional teaching methods.
Hands-on science promotes critical thinking by encouraging students to analyze and interpret data. The Foundation for Critical Thinking reports that students who engaged in hands-on science activities were 75% more likely to demonstrate advanced critical thinking skills than their peers who received traditional instruction.
Creativity is a vital 21st-century skill. According to a study published in the Journal of STEM Education, students involved in hands-on science projects exhibited a 50% increase in creative thinking skills, as they often had to devise unique solutions to the challenges they faced.
Students become active seekers of knowledge in hands-on science activities. A National Survey of Student Engagement reported that students who frequently engaged in hands-on science activities were 3x more likely to demonstrate curiosity and inquisitiveness about their surroundings.
The World Economic Forum lists problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity among the top skills needed for the 21st-century job market. Students exposed to hands-on science education develop these essential skills that make them future-ready.
According to a Gallup Poll, students who had frequent hands-on learning experiences had an engagement level 1.6x higher than students who did not, suggesting that active participation fosters interest and enjoyment in learning.
Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that students in active learning environments exhibited an increase of 6% in test scores compared to those in traditional lecture classes, indicating better information retention.
Hands-on science education allows students to see how their classroom learning applies to real-world situations, making their education more meaningful. In a study by the National Science Foundation, 78% of students said that hands-on experiments helped them understand the relevance of science in their daily lives.
The Institute of Education Sciences found that 80% of students participating in hands-on science projects developed better teamwork skills, as these activities often require collaboration.
A study in the Journal of Engineering Education revealed that students who participated in hands-on science activities showed a 65% improvement in resilience and learned to see failure as a learning opportunity.
If you want to get your child interested in science, the topics and activities must be fun and engaging. Accordingly, focus on activities that align with their interests and have entertaining content, such as those listed below.
Group science classes emphasize collaborative learning through science experiments, which foster creativity and critical thinking amongst students and their peers. The vast majority of scientific and engineering projects in the professional world are done in teams, so group classes emphasizing science experiments for kids may be the best way to prepare students for these future working scenarios.
Science summer camps, after-school programs, and school clubs often provide hands-on learning opportunities. For example, Tokyo Coding Club offers three unique summer camps in Gunma, Hakuba, and Tokyo, that blend exciting outdoor activities with programming and robotics curriculum. In this format, students can make lifelong memories and advance their science skills.
Several online platforms offer interactive, hands-on science courses and workshops. Furthermore, websites like Science Bob and The Kitchen Pantry Scientist offer lots of fun science projects for kids, that you can do at home. Working with a private tutor on science will allow students to take these activities one step further by working one-on-one to dissect the scientific process and see how the learnings from these experiments apply to real-world problems.
As a subscriber, you’ll be the first to know about upcoming events, new course offerings, and success stories from our graduates.