During the summer holidays try something different with the kids and get your creative juices flowing and fingertips at the ready and bring a little science into your home. 'ExpeRimental' have created activities, specifically designed to appeal to those families who have never considered doing science at home with their children, or who do not feel confident in their abilities to do so.
As more parents believe that science at home is important, 84% of the UK public agree that we should all take an interest in science, but only 41% of adults and 51% of 16-24 year olds feel informed about science. Only a third of parents feel confident in helping with their children’s homework.
The Royal Institution of Great Britain (Ri) is set to launch a major new project, ExpeRimental, which aims to kick-start a revolution in science, learning by supporting and empowering parents to do exciting and easy science activities at home with young children.
ExpeRimental is designed for children aged between 4-9 and aims to give viewers the confidence and ideas to explore, question and test some of the fundamentals of science with children.
The new project by The Royal Institution of Great Britain has released a number of short films that offer demonstrations on how to teach your children more about science.
This first set of 10 short films will be presented by parents and children from across London, Manchester, Eastbourne and Dublin and all the activities will require only common household objects or cheap and easy to buy materials. The project will also use social media to build a supportive community of home ‘ExpeRimenters’.
Dr Gail Cardew, Director of Science and Education at the Ri, said: “For 200 years our mission has been to encourage people to think more deeply about the wonders and applications of science and the Royal Institution is often called ‘the home of the science demo’.
“These films have also been developed as a resource for primary school teachers and other professionals working with children. This is to address the fact that according to research by the Wellcome Trust, science is mostly taught by non-specialists in primary schools and nurseries and the amount of time devoted to science in the primary phase has declined in recent years.”
Physics teacher and filmmaker Alom Shaha who developed the project said: “There are countless science demonstration YouTube films, science kits, parenting activity books and other resources already, but our research shows there is a clear need for activity ideas that are underpinned by a solid scientific foundation, are presented by real people viewers can relate to, and are explained in a way that is accessible and enjoyable.
“For example, ExpeRimental will demonstrate how making and playing with homemade cannons can turn the concepts around energy and forces into an explosive reality and how a homemade lava lamp can create a mesmerising illustration of the connection between density and whether things float or sink.
Adam, aged 7 who features in 'Musical coathangers’ said: “It's mind blowing and epic how you can find different things to do experiments with at home. I liked finding all the things that could make sounds.”
Xanthe, aged 9 who features in ‘Balancing sculptures’ said: “It was cool, really fun and easy to do because all the stuff was lying around the house. I wasn't expecting the carrot to balance with only two marshmallows!”
Alom added: “We are keen to explore working with specialists and local organisations to raise awareness of the project in rural and under-served communities, to recruit and train up new contributors, and to eventually create a library of films that meet the needs of families from different cultures, those where English is not the first language and those who have children with varying needs and abilities.
For more information visit www.rigb.org/expeRimental
or visit the Facebook page www.facebook.com/ri.experimental
The first 10 ExpeRimental films have been funded by the Gillespie Trust Fund.