26 Mar, 2014
10 : 00
Educators at YCIS Shanghai teach science in ways that promote inquiry and encourage children’s interests, helping students develop their critical thinking skills, as well as a sense of satisfaction in making discoveries on their own.
In taking this approach, Year 6 teachers at YCIS Shanghai Century Park Campus provide continuous opportunities for students to directly engage with science, says Ms Catherine Luk, a Year 6 Teacher and Team Leader. She explains, “We are guided by one of our primary goals which is to enrich our students’ learning with hands-on lessons and investigations to foster their love of science.” One recent learning opportunity was the Annual Year 6 Science Fair, which empowers students to create and carry out their own scientific experiments.
The process of preparing students for the Science Fair began back in Octoberwith students learning about scientific testing in their “Scientific Enquiry” unit. Ms Luk says, “This particular unit gave students an understanding of the Scientific Method, and of the importance of conducting a fair test in order to achieve accurate results. Now our students recognise that careful observations and background research are critical in developing a sound hypothesis and to produce reliable results.”
The students then applied their newfound knowledge to the Science Fair through investigations of scientific questions that appealed to their interests. Some of the creative topics for investigation included: “Does age affect creativity? Do athletes have greater lung capacity? Does highlighting while reading allow you to remember more? Does temperature affect a tennis ball’s bounce? Do cell phone conversations affect reaction time?”
With their questions in mind, the students worked through a very detailed process to create their projects. One student, Philip, wrote about the steps of preparation involved, noting, “First, we came up with questions that could be measured with the scientific method. Once a question was chosen, we began planning our project using the scientific method as the basic structure. Next, we tested our hypothesis using scientific means, and then utilised our computer skills to create tables, graphs, and PowerPoint presentations to make our information more visual. Following that, we painted our poster boards to fit the theme of our project, and we practised presenting to our peers.”
On the day of the fair, parents joined teachers and staff on campus to watch the budding scientists in action. The Year 6 students also presented their scientific findings to Year 4 and 5classes, which were keen to take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about science projects from their older peers.
Following a successful, thought-provoking Science Fair, YCIS Shanghai students are now looking forwards to applying their scientific thinking to future experiments and projects. Says Ms Luk,"Students are already sharing some of their ideas for projects they would like to conduct next year!"
For more information about how science is incorporated in the Primary curriculum at YCIS Shanghai, please click here. (https://www.ycis-sh.com/en/academics/primary)