Friday, February 22, 2008

Blinding him with Science

The hubby has many fond childhood memories of bonding with his dad while conducting various science experiments. Need to make a battery out of a lemon or a clock made out of potatoes? Marc can tell you how to do that and why it works. He and his dad tackled all kinds of projects. (Who needs MacGyver when you’ve got a chemistry professor in the family?)

Now both Marc and his father are starting to share their passion for science with Seth. As Seth grows, I can see he’s definitely taking after his paternal grandfather’s side of the family. He’s very interested in various science fields – from chemistry to physics to biology.

But how do you foster a love of science when you, yourself, flunked high school chemistry? Well, you have two choices. You can marry a person who’s very strong in science (like I did) or you can start checking lots of websites like Hobby Science or Zoom for project ideas as well as simple explanations. (I do this too.)

Identifying concepts your child will find of most interest can sometimes be tricky. But for the most part, just follow their lead. (Of course you’ll have to adjust your vocabulary and explanation of concepts depending on age.) Seth is a Star Wars fanatic. So what better time to introduce astronomy? When his passion for all things transportation was at its peak, we introduced the concept of energy and how the parts of the vehicle interact with each other in order to make that vehicle stop and go. When he eats, we discuss food choices, nutrients found in various foods, as well as how the body uses those nutrients. When I’ve vacuumed, we’ve discussed how the vacuum cleaner works. When he’s gotten a cold, we’ve discussed germs, how they get into the body, why we cough, and that lovely byproduct — snot.

When it is too cold for a trip to the Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis Science Center, The Magic House or the St. Louis Zoo we check YouTube. Want to watch a solar eclipse? Want to watch a tornado form and wreak some havoc? Want to see how rattlesnakes mate? It is there.

But it is always good for kiddos to get some hands-on experience, yes? And for that, there are also some supa cool offerings at Target for kids of varying age ranges and interest. The Discovery Channel Store also has a plethora of products.

Although Seth has been begging for this FOREVER he recently got this for Valentine’s Day. This totally appealed to the hubby too - being he’s an electrical/computer engineer.

This blog post is was written on behalf of Parent Bloggers Network as part of the Zula Intergalactic Inquirer blog blast.

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