Hands on Science

Generating energy from eco-friendly renewable resources has become an imperative for the long-term sustenance of our planet. How did Costa Rica, a small Central American nation become the first to achieve 100% energy production from renewable sources? What are the advantages and disadvantages of different kinds of energy sources? This article examines Costa Rica’s achievement in the context of the current energy scenario in the world and also explores factors that might aid or hinder the development of renewable energy resources.
 
Are all that children surmise from their day-to-day experiences, actual scientific truth? In this article, we discuss three  examples that show how children have such 'prior mental models' before they enter classrooms, and how these could persist, even into adulthood. We also discuss potential ways to help learners replace these 'prior mental models' with correct scientific models.
 
Introduction
The phenomenon of colour is explained fragmentarily in chemistry, biology and physics in schools. In this article, a case is made for teaching colour as a separate interdisciplinary unit in the middle school.
 
Beena D B works as a Resource Person at the School of Arts and Sciences, Azim Premji University, Bengaluru. In this interview, she shares her experiences and insights on a life in science.

Children aren’t empty vessels. They come to class with amusing, surprising and deep-rooted ideas, inconsistent with contemporary science. It is imperative for a teacher to recognise this and initiate a process of change as such ideas could hamper learning.

The emphasis in the books is on the process of science - observing, asking questions, trying to find the answers through further observations and experiments - rather than on information that chil- dren are expected to memorize without any real understanding. Needless to add, it would be difficult to use this book meaningfully without doing the activities.

The aim of the Homi Bhabha primary science curriculum is to engage students and teachers together in a joyful and meaningful learning experience. The curriculum is built out of simple, thematically organised, activities and exercises. The TextBook, WorkBook and Teacher’s Book for each Class are meant to promote active learning in every sense. To use these books, students must get out of the mind-set of copying the correct answers from the blackboard or from other students. Small Science should not be just read, it should be done.

Primary school students, particularly in rural areas, have rich, interactive experiences of the natural world. But lacking systematisation and clear expression, their observations and skills do not contribute to school learning. Urban students from literate homes, on the other hand, are often encouraged to ignore their natural surroundings, and to concentrate on meaningless bookish learning.

Small Science Class 1 & 2 deals with the broad area of environmental studies. This Teacher's Book illustrates a few of the almost unlimited learning opportunities offered by our immediate environment. In these first two classes we should remain unconstrained by a definite set of topics; the idea is to simply open up possibilities for learning in everyday contexts.

Many scientific concepts can be understood and demonstrated through simple experiments, using locally available low-cost material. This article presents a few simple but exciting experiments that can be used to understand foundational principles in physics.

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