Several scientific studies reveal the importance of holding scientific demonstrations in middle school and high school classrooms. Often overlooked as simply “cool presentations” teachers can do for students to grab their attention, the significance of these experiments or demos goes far beyond a brief few minutes of undivided awe. The studies found that their is a strong correlation between the number of hands-on science activities conducted in secondary schools and the academic success of students as well as their attitudes towards science in general (Bilgin 2006).
Sure, the expense of operating such experiments may cost schools money and time that they would rather put into other uses. However, if more schools knew the efficacy of such a method, perhaps they would justify the additional money and time needed to run the demonstrations.
Science experiments, especially the ones suggested by our organization, are designed to promote discovery and learning in young students in a time and cost efficient manner. The best part is that it doesn’t take much to initiate this spark of interest in students. As shown in the Bilgin article, a few demos or experiments a semester can play a significant role in boosting class participation, interest, and performance in science and laboratory courses.
We here at Project SCIFI recognize the impact that studies like this one have proven: middle and high school age students, especially those at underprivileged schools, respond positively with increased test scores in science and laboratory courses when more experiments in the classroom are conducted! We are teaming up with STEM companies and similar non-profits to provide under-resourced schools with the lab coats and resources that will allow teachers and mentors to capitalize on more powerful teaching methods. Together we can actualize these results and help teachers inspire the scientists of tomorrow to pursue their passions. If you would like to make a difference in science education, find us at projectscifi.org, on Facebook, or on LinkedIn!
Bilgin, Ibrahim. “The Effects of Hands-On Activities Incorporating A Cooperative Learning Approach On Eight Grade Students’ Science Process Skills And Attitudes Towards Science.” Journal of Baltic Science Education, no. 9, 2006.