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Janice VanCleave’s Tips for Parents — How to Encourage Your Child in Science

  1. Make an effort to encourage your children to ask "I wonder" questions about the scientific world around them. Do this by asking them questions, such as "I wonder... Why is the sky blue?" or "I wonder...What causes a cake to rise?” Don't be too quick to give an answer if you know it and don't be afraid to ask questions yourself. The fun part will be spending time with your children finding the answers in books.

  2. Do present a positive attitude about learning about science. You might admit that science may not have been your favorite subject when you were a kid, but the new science experiment books certainly look like science can be fun. Suggest selecting an experiment from a book and doing it together.

  3. You don't always have the time to stop and find answers to questions asked by children. Keep a journal with questions to be answered later. If possible, have a scheduled "together time" for investigating all the “I wonder---" questions asked during the day.

  4. For children that will be expected to do a school science fair project--volley ideas about possible projects. Suggest looking at science fair project books for new ideas. Your positive, supportive attitude will make this a fun learning experience.

  5. The best tip for encouraging children in science is to spend time together doing science. Make a conscious effort to observe and wonder about the science around you. Then use science books to further investigate and learn about the topics most interesting to your children.