Science has always been a very important part of high school education. Today, it's even more important than ever! Many graduates will go on to college where they will be much more successful students if they have a strong STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) background from high school.
If you are struggling to put together high school educational science programs that excite students and make them want to learn, then consider each of these tips for jazzing up your program and encouraging student participation.
Tip: Use a Local Attraction to Reinforce Your Classroom Learning
While field trips can be a bit of extra work for everyone involved, what if your school's physics class took a yearly pilgrimage to the local amusement park? After all, what better place to learn about gravity and forces than on the newest roller coaster?
After the first trip, other students will hear about the fun day and soon want to take the class so that they can go to the amusement park on a field trip as well.
If each of your science teachers finds a relevant local attraction that's exciting for the students and feels more like a play day away from school than a hands-on learning experience, the more popular your science program will become.
Tip: Hold Competitive Science-Themed Contests on At Least a Quarterly Basis
When you think of a science contest, you likely envision back in grammar school when you made a volcano with vinegar and water for the lava. While this won't hold a high school student's attention for very long, what if your school had a contest each quarter where they could win something that high schoolers are interested in? What if the contest was fun?
To start, ask a few local businesses who cater to students (movie theaters, hamburger joints, the local swimming pool, etc.) for some donated prizes for science contests. Many local businesses will happily donate when they find out that you are trying to build a stronger STEM program at your school.
For the contests, try and be creative. For example, wouldn't it be fun to drop eggs off of the school's roof and see if the students' handmade parachutes would prevent the egg from breaking? How about building a car that's powered only by a mouse trap?
By being more creative and thinking about what motivates your students, your high school science program will be better attended, and your students will enjoy it a whole lot more.