Please welcome my guest blogger today, Catherine Ross of Kids Learning Games!
There are plenty of websites that provide science news for kids. With the latest updates on research findings, cool inventions, and scientific expeditions in various fields, these websites provide scientific content that would interest kids in a manner that they can understand. Scientific news stories are always interesting, and it is understandable that the public would want to read about them.
But why all the focus on kids? How much difference does it make to a ten-year old what Curiosity is doing on Mars? There are various ways in which kids can benefit by staying up to date on the latest science news stories. Here are just a few of them.
It promotes scientific thinking.
When you were growing up, you were taught that there are nine planets in the solar system. But then a few years ago, the definition of a planet was refined, and Pluto didn’t make the cut. Science news stories for kids as well as adults all proclaimed the big development, newer science textbooks made a small correction to their chapter on the solar system and kids today are taught that there are only eight planets in our solar system.
This change in what was always accepted as a scientific ‘fact’ does not just mean that today’s kids have one less planet to memorize. It means that every single thing we accept as a ‘fact’ is open to questioning. When your child sees a story like this appear in their daily dose of science news for kids, it makes them realize that they don’t have to accept any ‘fact’ as an absolute truth.
It encourages them to question their understanding of the universe and to look for answers to things that they don’t understand. These are two behaviours that are at the base of all scientific thinking and enquiry.
It encourages inventiveness.
Websites that publish science news for kids often have stories about cool new inventions and ideas for future inventions. Reading about these imaginative ideas encourages children to think out of the box. It teaches them that there is always room for a better idea. It helps them realize that they don’t have to be satisfied with the gadgets and machines already at their disposal; they can always come up with an improvement that will make the quality of life even better for their fellow humans.
It encourages kids to make healthy lifestyle choices.
Scientists are always doing research in the field of health and medicine, and their findings regularly make their way to the science news for kids column. These news stories deal with topics like the benefits of eating certain types of food, the importance of getting regular sleep and exercise and the negative effects of reduced outdoor play. Kids who are exposed to such news stories on a regular basis are more inclined to making healthy lifestyle choices on their own.
It encourages kids to take care of the environment.
Reading science news for kids informs children about the changes happening to the Earth as a result of man’s irresponsible actions. Kids learn what kinds of behaviour are harmful to the Earth’s ecosystems and how drastic the resulting changes are. They are also kept informed about alternative lifestyles and products that help reduce man’s burden on the planet. This type of information equips children to make better choices and help save the planet.
It increases scientific vocabulary and understanding.
When discussing scientific concepts, people all over the world use a set of commonly accepted terms. By reading science news for kids, children familiarize themselves with these terms and their meanings and increase their scientific vocabulary. Also, by reading about the experiments and experiences of scientists, kids get an increased understanding of the scientific world and various science concepts.
Fortunately for parents, it doesn’t take much to get children reading science news for kids. Just find a website that publishes interesting science news stories edited for kids, show your kids a few of the fascinating science stories, and let them know where you found them. Very soon, you will have your kids keeping you up to date on the latest science stories from the website.
Catherine Ross is a full-time stay-at-home-mum who believes learning should be enjoyable for young minds. An erstwhile elementary school teacher, Catherine loves coming up with creative ways through which kids can grasp the seemingly difficult concepts of learning easily. She believes that a ‘fun factor’ can go a long way in enhancing kids’ understanding and blogs at Kids Learning Games.
Science for Kids Resources:
Science News for Kids
Time Magazine for Kids: Science
EurekAlert! Science Report
Scientific American Book Club for Kids