Year 2's memory of a science lesson
Nothing puts your lesson to the test than having students try to recall just what the content was. You can tell if you ask them to send you a drawing, especially if you ask for it to be sent a week after the fact! The trap of running a science show is that you can get caught up in the ‘whiz bang’ demonstrations, the fancy gear and the theatrics involved. I’ve seen many school science shows in my time (who would have thought?!?) and have noticed that generally science shows can be split into several categories:
- the show pony: fancy dress, fancy props, high energy in an all singing/all dancing extravaganza.
- the traveling teacher: student-centered & curriculum oriented, less concerned with shiny pull up banners and more concerned with knowledge.
- the inbetweener: part teacher & part entertainer and general all-rounder.
- the ‘I should be doing something else’: we’ve all seen this one ;)
Hopefully no matter what the setting or the requirements on the day you should aim to have the audience truly learning something new, something that they will bring back home. Aim the content at the right age level and speak in their language and context. If you achieve this than you’ve done your job which is representing scientists and their work, coherently communicating the theory and hopefully inspiring the next generation of thinkers. As a traveling science communicator, it is important to remember your audience and why they came to see you but most importantly… did they learn anything?
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