Most students in our introductory physical science course are elementary education majors. We are faced with several obstacles in teaching basic science to these students. For example, they lack interest in science, logical thinking, and necessary data gathering and analysis skills, among others. Many of those obstacles could be traced back to the science courses they had taken in the past. Those courses put more emphasis on memorizing scientiﬁc facts than understanding natural phenomena or experiencing scientiﬁc methods. As a result, the students tend to have a negative attitude toward science in general. In order to reverse this attitude, We have been developing a hands-on, experience based physical science course. In each class students are asked to perform several experiments which require observation, data gathering, and analysis. The instructor provides necessary scientific background and explanation on the experiments as they go. One of the experiments the students enjoyed a lot is the measurement of average speeds of cars. They actually go out on the street and take data. Through this course students can experience how science works and learn that science could be more exciting than just memorizing.
© Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
"Hands-on Physical Science Course at Radford University,"
Journal of Mathematics and Science: Collaborative Explorations: Vol. 2
, Article 17.
Available at: https://scholarscompass.vcu.edu/jmsce_vamsc/vol2/iss2/17