All students are curious about the world in which they live, which makes them natural scientists. Science helps them make sense of the world around them. It provides opportunities for students to investigate this world and explain how and why things happen. As they engage in the work of scientists, they
- ask questions
- collect data
- construct explanations
- reach conclusions, and
- communicate their discoveries
In our schools, students study physics, chemistry, biology, earth science, astronomy, and ecology. In our science classrooms, students develop an understanding of the interdependence of living things as well as a respect for nature. They study their local environment but they think globally. They use problem-solving skills to find solutions to a variety of real-world problems. They share ideas, work together, read informational texts, make presentations and challenge each other to think creatively. They integrate reading, writing, listening, discussion, and mathematics as they learn science.
Science Activities for Families
We live in a natural learning laboratory. Our students can connect to the nature that is all around them in city parks, gardens, green spaces, beaches, and waterways, and the amazing environment of New York City. Through questioning and project-based learning, students can think about real-world problems in their communities and take action.
The Science of Cooking
Discover how a pinch of curiosity can improve your cooking at the Exploratorium website(Open external link). Explore recipes, activities, and webcasts that will enhance your understanding of the science behind food and cooking. Find out how different candy is made and then make your own. Or try making a “naked egg.” Children and adults can work together to understand the science behind the food they eat.
Adolescent children and their parents can share the wonders of scientific inquiry through virtual labs, such as the Bacterial ID Lab(Open external link) and the Lizard Evolution Virtual Lab(Open external link). Created by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute(Open external link), these virtual labs are both enjoyable and educational for the entire family.
Any time can be the right time to explore science. Visit Science Buddies(Open external link) for fun science activities that take favorite experiments and demonstrations and let you explore them at home. Materials are easy to find. Most activities take an hour or less, and the science learning is limitless.
More Home Experiments
Enjoy a variety of explorations – from floating soap bubbles to making raisins dance at SciFun(Open external link). The activities found here are both entertaining and educational. Children and adults can learn about the nature of materials together.
With your child, design a garden or park that will attract native animals. Design the type of plants and trees that will be there, then think of the native animals that will be attracted to this space because of the food sources. Make a food web showing all of the organisms in your yard or park. Remember to draw or take photos of the space you have created.
What’s for Dinner?
Discover the benefits of the types of food that you eat for dinner. Chart the food that you eat for dinner as a family for one week. Then find out where the type of food came from; for instance, if you have salmon for dinner one night, search the Internet and learn where salmon is produced and how it is shipped to New York City. Do the same for all of the food products that you eat for dinner and then create a chart of the cost of the food and the distance it travels. See if you can find any trends in the data that you have collected.
The Tail Wagging the Dog
Many people who have dogs know that dogs wag their tails because they are happy. Or do they? As a family, try to design an experiment that will either support this theory or not. Start by seeing what makes a dog happy. Then ask if there is a connection with that thing and the wagging of the dog’s tail. Make several observations before coming to a conclusion.