For Immediate Release
December 17, 2010
Illinois State Board of Education encourages students to have fun with science over winter break
Parents can help their children succeed in science
SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois State Board of Education is suggesting families hone their science skills during winter break to help students maintain academic gains made so far this school year. Parents can help their children sharpen their science skills through games, museum trips and everyday activities such as walks in nature, star gazing and experiments with common household items.
“Science makes us think differently, developing our problem-solving skills and curiosity so that one question leads to several others,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “Such inquiry-based learning and thinking will help prepare students for college and careers in any field.”
The Illinois Science Teachers Association, a 43-year old organization that promotes excellence in science education across the state provides links to teacher and state resources for science education at http://www.ista-Il.org/resources-illinois.htm.
The ISTA encourages parents to talk about science involved in everyday activities. A walk in the woods can serve as a good time to search and identify animal tracks while sledding can become an exercise in measuring and controlling velocity. Instead of asking children “How was school today?” parents might ask “What did you ask in school today?” Parents can also tell their children how science is a part of their own work lives.
For more ideas, visit ISTA and the following web sites:
- National Geographic for Kids, http://www.kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/activities
- Try Science, http://www.tryscience.org/parents/parent.html
- Kids Cooking Activities, http://www.kids-cooking-activities.com/food-science-experiments
- Identifying Wildlife Animal Tracks, http://www.ehow.com/how_4926329_identify-animal-tracks-snow.html
- Night Sky Observation, http://astronomyonline.org/Observation/NightSky.asp
Museums and science centers:
- Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, http://www.msichicago.org
- Sci-Tech Hands-on Museum, Aurora, http://scitech.mus.il.us
- Science Center of Southern Illinois, Carbondale, http://yoursciencecenter.org
- St. Louis Science Center, http://www.slsc.org
- Adler Planetarium, Chicago, http://www.adlerplanetarium.org
- John Deere Planetarium, Augustana College, Rock Island, http://helios.augustana.edu/astronomy/