Most parents understand how important it is for their child to always be growing in some way or another.
Which is why, come summertime, many of us worry that our little ones won’t be getting the intellectual stimulation they need to succeed in the coming school year – and long thereafter.
Luckily, your kiddo has become downright enthralled with the idea of attending science camp this summer!
Still, some questions remain at the back of your mind:
“Will he be able to complete all the projects and experiments the camp has ready for him?”
“Will she get anything out of all of this?”
“Will he actually enjoy going to science camp?”
The answer to each of these questions is, of course, a huge “YES” – as long as you’ve helped them prepare for the experience.
In this article, we’ll go over three concepts you should discuss with your child to get them ready for science camp, so they’re able to squeeze as much value out of the experience as they possibly can.
With such a huge focus on standardized testing and the like as of late, today’s students often tend to shy away from exploration. Unfortunately, it’s been instilled in them that problems typically have a single “right” answer or “correct” solution – and that this answer or solution should pretty much be obvious to them.
Of course, this is rarely ever the case – especially when it comes to science.
In preparing your child for science camp, you want to instill in them the notion that there’s usually more than one “right” way to solve a problem – as well as the idea that more than one solution can be considered “correct” (as long as it actually solves the problem, of course).
Additionally, it’s important for your child to understand that the best solution to a problem isn’t always the obvious one. This is where exploration and experimentation really come into play: You need to help your child understand that sometimes, they just need to dig in and “get their hands dirty” in order to figure out the best solution possible.
Encourage Innovation and Creativity
Along with that last sentiment, you can also prepare your child for science camp by bringing out the creative thinker within her.
As adults, we tend to see the world for what’s actually there: a cloud is a cloud, a cardboard box is a cardboard box, and so on. While we picture kids as being much more imaginative than most adults, today’s society often downplays the importance and validity of such outside-the-box thinking – leaving children to adopt an adult-like, concrete view of the world way too early in life.
So, in preparing your kiddo for science camp, you’ll want to not only validate, but celebrate creative, imaginative, and innovative thought within them. A cloud can be more than just a cloud; it can be a dinosaur, an ice cream sundae, or a snowy hill to race down on a sled. A cardboard box can be a spaceship, race car, or a robot. It’s all up to your child’s imagination.
To add to this, you also want to help your child understand the importance of unfiltered brainstorming when solving problems. As we talked about before, sometimes the best solution to a problem isn’t always obvious – and it can easily be passed over if you’re constantly filtering your ideas, or thinking “No, that can’t be right” before you even try it out.
Give your child the opportunity to think freely and try new things without fear of being “wrong.” On this same token, help them understand that “being wrong” isn’t a reflection of their abilities (or lack thereof); it’s simply a sign that they’re willing to expand their comfort zone in the interest of discovering something new.
Help Them Appreciate The “Boring” Side of Science
Okay, hear me out:
Not every little thing your kiddo does at science camp is going to have a “wow” factor. There’s no denying that setting up a new experiment (and cleaning up afterwards) isn’t nearly as fun as actually doing the experiment.
But, of course, these steps are necessary in order to make the experiment go off as planned.
Perhaps one of the best ways to demonstrate this to your child is to prepare a meal (or a dessert!) with them. Rather than rushing through the setup (e.g., buying the ingredients, preparing the supplies, etc.), deliberately work through these steps, and explain that even the smallest of steps in the process is essential to the success of the entire project. Of course, you certainly can jazz up the process as you see fit (for instance, letting them do the messy parts!), but your goal for the activity is to call attention to the less-than-exciting parts above all else.
And, of course, once you’ve completed the project together, you’ll be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor together, as well. The yummy food your child will get to enjoy – that he created himself – will serve as proof that working diligently through the “boring” parts of the process are well worth the effort.
Here at Club SciKidz Young Scientist summer camp, your child will get to partake in a number of exciting experiments and activities, like:
- Creating a racing robot out of a run-of-the-mill toothbrush
- Making their own super bouncy ball from scratch
- Building a rocket, and launching it way up into the sky
You can check out more of the activities we have to offer by clicking over to our course description page.
Now, all that’s left is for you to get your kiddo signed up and ready to blast off!