Joy of Science

This article presents the journey of a group of science teachers in exploring Archimedes principle, and related concepts, through well-loved fables like that of the Thirsty Crow, as well as a series of simple, open-ended experiments with readily available material.
 
Lolitika Mandal is an Assistant Professor at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Mohali. Her research has contributed to a global understanding of how blood cells develop. In this interview, she shares her experiences and insights on the life of a scientist.
 
Tell us something about your current work.
Theatre can be a powerful means of communicating the excitement and richness of science.
 
In an influential lecture at the University of Cambridge in 1959, the British chemist and novelist, C.P. Snow drew attention to the ever widening chasm between the sciences and the humanities in post-war Britain. He asserted that “… the intellectual life of the whole of western society is increasingly being split into two polar groups” – literary intellectuals on

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.

This article explores embodied learning in the science classroom. The authors use research in science education to illustrate, practically, how teachers can create immersive, full-body thinking and knowing experiences for their students.

Examples from the history of science suggest that bridging the gap between seemingly unrelated fields may have rich rewards. Why? What are its implications for science education?

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.

We use forces all the time to move things, lift things and travel. A force is a push or a pull that makes an object do something. For instance, when you kick a ball, it is the force that you apply while kicking that causes the ball to move. Forces can make things change directions, speed, and shape. Force is one of the most important aspects in the discipline of science and it is essential that we have at least a basic understanding of this concept.

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