How many students do you think would call themselves a scientist? Not many, I would guess. And, even less as they get older. It seems that our children have an image in their mind that doesn't allow them to see themselves as scientists.
In an effort to change these ideas, I have been trying to give them even more opportunities to see and call themselves scientists...
1. Wrote a grant for supplies for SCIENCE SUITCASES. These suitcases are being loaded up with science manipulatives, journaling materials, and more. We have been drawing names for the suitcases to get them in as many hands as possible. Students take these loaded suitcases home for a week to explore. Circus Sam the balancing man, solar cars and crickets, sound pipes, and circuit materials are just a few of the items the kids (and hopefully parents) explore. Do these activities make them feel more like scientists? I think so! Several students bringing the suitcases back wanted to discuss their activities with me, and told me of more ideas that they would love to try.
2. You have to view this link...http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/03/alexander-graham-bells-delightfully-weird-sketchbooks/72281/
My students and I explored Alexander Graham Bell's notebook on the smart board and compared his notes to our science notebooks. Cool comments surfaced about keeping records, diagrams, and questions/ideas. We talked about being scientists by observing the world around us, questioning what we see, and challenging information given to us by others.
3. Current events- I find that teaching science by connecting to the world around the students is the best route to take! My 5th graders are asking about the events in Japan, and I am so grateful to the phenomenal sites and visuals being posted. Students are on the edge of their seats with such concern and empathy, and they want to know WHY.
This is where we are at in science. Listening, sharing, and getting science into their curious path!