10 ways to keep inquiring minds curious

10 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 10 ideas for reinforcing science learning at home. Need more? Ask your child’s science teacher!

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

2. 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?

3. 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?

4. Hot fun, cool places: And on a day that’s going to be a scorcher, go to a cool museum! Find family science activities in the area at http://www.eeingeorgia.org/content/ee/docs/EEA_Region2.pdf.

5. Science fun, answers online: Together, explore the NASA for Kids site at

6. Discover some good science books, TV show, films: Think science when you visit your local library. Check the listings for science-related specials and programs on the Discovery Channel, a local PBS station, and GCPS TV. Check out a nature video like Winged Migration. Go see one of the IMAX science movies.

7. Recycle: With your child, collect plastic, aluminum, and steel recyclables for home pick-up, or drop off recyclables at the county center on Satellite Blvd.

8. 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 and Beautiful for more about composting.

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

10. 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; never look directly at the sun).