How to get students more actively involved in science learning to avoid scientific illiteracy
Vacula, Amy A.
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Students should be more involved in science learning in order to avoid scientific illiteracy. The purpose of this project is to show that hands-on science is one possible solution. After looking at research about the possible consequences of scientific illiteracy and doing an extensive review of current major literary works dealing with the issue, hands-on science appears to be a possible solution. Many people are afraid of the negative effects in the United States if scientific illiteracy continues to be a problem in our society. Hands-on science has helped many teachers capture student's curiosity and interest. Students are encouraged to try new things without fear of failure. They are motivated to act on concrete objects which help them retain material more effectively. Piaget stresed the use of concrete materials when teaching children concepts. Other theorists agree with the concepts behind hands-on science as well. I began my research by looking at major works dealing with scientific illiteracy such as Project 2061: Science For All Americans. After discovering the possible consequences of scientific illiteracy, I began to examine hands-on science. The thematic units I chose to create hands-on science for were: Magnetism & Electricity, Sound, and The Human Body. Since many schools are moving toward the whole language philosophy, I integrated the human body unit throughout the entire curriculum. The units are geared for the third grade level, but they can be adapted to suit higher and lower grade levels. The materials listed are based on a class size of 32 students.