A Few Ways to Keep Inquiring Minds Curious

  • When you think about it, science is everywhere… Cooking is one big experiment, with ingredients and heat fueling the chemical and physical changes that result in your dinner. Tadpoles “magically” morph into frogs in the backyard pond… that’s biology. Frost on the windshield? Dewpoint and temperature are at work. Here are some ideas for reinforcing science learning at home. Need more? Ask your child’s science teacher!

    Nature walks with a mission… Listen… are those natural sounds or manmade? Look for signs of animal life. Collect and compare leaves.

    Amusing wait… Waiting in line at an amusement park? Discuss the potential and kinetic energy of the ride. Where is the greatest amount of potential energy on that loopity-loop rollercoaster?

    Weather watchers… Track weather conditions for a week. What was the total precipitation for the week? The difference between the high and low temperature each day? Which day was the warmest? Go online and look at weather maps, including interactive radar and satellite images. Talk about Atlanta’s drought and track water levels in area lakes.

    Hot fun, cool places… And on a day that’s going to be a scorcher, go to a cool museum! Check out the Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center or one of the many other choices around metro Atlanta… easy to find with a quick search on the Web.

    Discover some good science books, TV show, films, web sites… Think science when you visit your local library. Check the listings for science-related specials and programs on the Discovery Channel, the local PBS station, and GCPS TV. Check out a nature video like Winged Migration. Go see one of the IMAX science movies. The Internet is a great place to discover science fun. Start on your school web site or the research section of the GCPS web site for links to science topics.

    Recycle… With your child, collect plastic, aluminum, and steel recyclables for home pick-up, or drop off recyclables at nearby collection sites.

    Rotten for a reason… Turn kitchen and yard waste into deep, rich mulch for your garden or lawn. Contact the local extension service or Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful for more about composting.

    Growing together… Plant a tree. Set out bulbs. Start a garden or a window box.

    Keep your eyes on the sky… Head away from city lights for the best view of the night sky. A book or planisphere will help you identify the stars and planets. Keep a record of the moon’s phases and location in the sky. Watch for upcoming sky events such as meteor showers or eclipses. (Be sure to follow safety rules. Remind your child to never look directly at the sun).