by Rachel Taliaferro
My seventh- and eighth-grade science teacher was an unorthodox one. Several times a week he'd feverishly lecture us about our wasteful consumption habits and forego a science lesson completely. The remaining days of the week, however, were filled with elaborate (and usually messy) experiments that he seemed to have made up just before class. They usually involved exploring for plant and animal life outside on the football field, or using basic classroom materials to construct things like batteries or rockets. It was all a little haphazard, but engaging in these experiments did more to pique my scientific curiosity than learning out of a textbook would have done.
Over on 4nannies.com is a list of 10 informal science projects that will boost investigative skills in children. These projects, from making invisible ink to crafting a gumdrop cityscape, can be done from home or in the classroom, and all of them encourage exploration and independent investigation. Use this list with your child or students and help inspire a lasting curiosity in the world around them.