Experimenting with Science

June 10, 2008

In the EdWeek article Labs at Elementary Level Help Bring Science Alive, the magazine highlights an elementary school in Kansas where the teacher captivates “her elementary pupils through a core science-class activity—an easy experiment—that educators and advocates say is vital to building enthusiasm and understanding for the subject in the early grades.”  In the particular activity observed, students worked in teams to build bridges out of just straws, tape, and scissors, and then tested the strength of their designs.

Unfortunately, according to the article, fewer and fewer elementary students are having lab-time in schools today.  Is this because new teachers’ lack of confidence and training, a lack of funding for science activities, a lack of time since teachers are pressured more and more to focus on preparing for standardized tests, or something else?