Questacon (Australia’s National Science and Technology Centre) – Place to Visit With Kids

Best place for kids to learn science can be none other than Questacon. In Australia, this is one of the best tourist spots which everyone will admire. Localities will visit frequently to educate kid about science. Let me share my views as I have two kids and would like to let you know how it will be beneficial for kids.

AustralNational Science and Technology Centre
Image:Source

Where, When and How to Visit Questacon

It is located on the southern shore in Canberra. Lake Burley Griffin is the landmark for Questacon National Science and Tech Centre. They are open on all days except 25th December, the Christmas day. The visiting time is 9 AM to 5 PM. However, entry is stopped after 3.30 PM. Minimum two hours is required for visiting and hence you need to make yourself available for at least 2 hours.

Questacon National Science and Technology Centre
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Reach any of these following places by bus or train and you can walk in not more than 6 mins to the National Science and Technology Centre.

  • Parkes Pl National Rose Gdns
  • King Edward Tce Treasury Building
  • Parkes Pl John Gorton Building
  • King Edward Tce After Bowen Dr
  • King Edward Tce National Library

School bookings are also allowed and you can find the pricing and other details here. It’s good when kids go with the school as they can understand better. However, you can take them during vacation and provide personal attention to each and every activity.  The ticket price for individuals is 23 dollars and kids 17.50 dollars. Children up to 4 years are charged nothing. For members also it is free. Family of 2 adults and 3 kids can purchase a ticket for 70 dollars.

Highlights of the place and how kids can have fun

There are close to 200 exhibits and all are interactive as well as related to science and technology. The primary purpose of the center is to interact with kids and educate them on basic science concepts. Suitable for all age group kids. 

Artillery Memorial Canberra
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There are eight galleries and let us see each one in detail and understand which age group will benefit the most.

  1. [email protected]

Any age group kids can find this gallery great and it is one of the best galleries to visit. Parents beware, this place is quite busy and you need to keep an eye on the kids. The thrilling part of this gallery is the six-meter slide. Then come to the air hockey and your kids can play this with the robot. Kid’s reflex action is challenged when the chase the scarves while they fly via the pipes.

  • Above and Beyond

Another gallery suitable for all kids is the ABOVE and BEYOND. However, this is not part of the 8 galleries and it is a temporary one, Boeing is the presenter collaborating with NASA. Hence it is named as Above and Beyond. The concepts of augmented reality (AR) and simulations are taught here. Kids are allowed to make their space ship with innovative design ideas.

  1. Mini Q – 0 -6-Year-old kids

Up to 6 years kids will love this gallery as they can relate to things at their level. It is more like a museum and play area. Several activities are displayed letting toddlers and kids until age 6 have fun. They are divided into many zones and every zone allows kids to do experiments. Yes, hands-on and they can feel proud about the scientist inside them. They can try and succeed to feel happy. Also, they can try and fail to retry. In general, this is the place for learning and relearning. Here kids can observe, predict, test and refine their model. Therefore little ones are allowed to think and expand their imaginative skills. Particularly, the zone that represents places including a construction site, grocery shop, hospital, etc is depicting the real-life places.

  1. Foyer 6+

ROBO Q is the best part of the gallery Foyer. Kids are free to control the ROBO the way in which it speaks, sings or makes gestures. The touch screen is easy to learn and anyone can make an attempt and play with the ROBOT.

  1. Science Garden 6+

Typically the garden area where kids can see the sun, rock, wind, and water. They can create rock music by discovering the wind direction. Several displays that add joy to kids are the small lithophone, rock xylophone, Mobius, Fundial, Granite Ball, Flickering leaves and much more.

  1. Q Lab 7+

This is part of the center since inception and contains many scientific activities. Also, they keep updating to latest standards and hence it is beneficial to all. Use the video microscope to view the world differently. The giant periodic table is the topmost feature of QLab and the actual samples of 94 elements make it more special. 7 years and upper with no upper limit and each of you will enjoy spending time here.

  1. Awesome Earth 8+

Awesome Earth
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Have you ever felt an earthquake? No, and we don’t want to. But you can understand the tremor and the feel of an earthquake in this gallery. Learn gravity, heat, and momentum. Detailed analysis using the data collected by scientist will give you a clear understanding of how all the factors get together to make the earth we are living in.

  1. H2O – Soak up the science – 8+

Joining hands with the national water commission this interactive exhibition is set up. The purpose of setting this is to make kids realize the value of water. As part of this initiative, there is a water treatment plant developed that is used in recycling the water used inside the exhibition. This will let know kids about water conservation. The little one will witness the process of recycling and will feel glad to learn the concepts. Trust me, children will enjoy and appreciate the efforts as well as become responsible for conserving water.  

  1. The Shed – 10+

Older kids will find this place good as there is a lot of rooms for experimenting and inventing using their ideas and tools. Tinkering studio is the highlight and visitors can create a design and make it work. There is no age limit to learn and anyone can try their design and make it work.

How can kids benefit from Questacon

kids benefit from Questacon
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With several galleries, kids get a chance to learn science in different perspectives. They just not visit the galleries alone but are allowed to perform hands-on activities.

The STEM (Science Technology Education and Math) way of education becomes easy here as they can do many experiments. This will kindle their thinking skills and when they perform the activities their motor skills are activated. Also, they feel empowered to do things on own which will motivate them to learn more.

They observe other kids and compete with them to complete experiments and healthy competition is built. This will further make them think and their imagination becomes wider. They get ready to meet the world with a lot of practical knowledge.

I suggest personally, taking kids to this place often will let them learn concepts at a different age. They will interpret the same thing in a different way based on their age and hence it will widen the horizon of thinking.

Interesting Places You Can Cover in the Neighborhood of Questacon


Astronomer at Questacon
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Several other national attractions in the vicinity of Questacon are listed below. You can choose places and take kids to spend their vacation in a constructive manner.

  • Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House

Detail about historians who were the reason for a shaped society is presemted here with details. You can take kids here to learn about history and its significance.

  • National Electoral Education Centre

The election process is understood by visiting this place. Kids will know about the constitution, law, and parliament. Why should they cast vote when they grow is nicely portrayed in this place. At this young age, lessons taught will stay forever in their mind.

  • National Archives

Collection of Australian History in the form of education programs, events and exhibitions are organized in the national archive.

  • National Gallery

The Art gallery has 100,000 and more artworks. It is one of the world-class exhibitions and kids will really have a great time here admiring the artistic sense.

  • National Museum

National Museum Questacon
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Holden Prototype No1 and Phar Lap’s heart is kept for display in the museum. This is just a sample, and you can find many more important items preserved for providing knowledge to the visitors about Australia, its culture and value.

  • National Library

National Library
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Documentary heritage of Australia is collected in the form of books in the National Library. Book worms will love this place and have so much information to provide with.

  • Parliament House

Parliament House
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Australian democracy is represented in the Parliament House. This being the focal point of the city is a must to visit place in Australia.

  • National Portrait Gallery

The pillar of the nation’s portraits is displayed in the portrait gallery. There is just not a few numbers but 400 portraits of different people are kept here.

If you like our review of Questacon, you might want to subscribe to our Go Science Kids newsletter. We will keep you informed about all our future reviews like this one. You will also be the first one to know about any new sciene activity that we publish on this website.

You can find more such places to visit with your kids listed here. See our recent review on Australian Museum here.

What’s your favorite go to place with kids? Comment below and let us know.

Book Review : Ivy and Beak Break the Fossil Record

Go Science Girls Review Ivy and Bean Break the Fossil Record

I love reading books and so do my daughters. It is because right from their young age I started reading books aloud for them. My elder daughter 7+-year-old has started reading on her own small books and my younger one still reads the book looking at the pictures. So once I came across this book Ivy and Bean Break the Fossil Record, I was fascinated at the cover looking at two little girls at the age of 7 with their smiling face reminded me my two daughters. I purchased the book to read it for my kids. As usual, I just wanted to share my opinion about the book with you all.

Let me give you a brief intro about the author, then a short summary about the story, and then a few benefits of gifting the book to kids. Finally, I will share my honest review about the good, better and the bad allowing you to decide whether or not to buy this book.

Go Science Girls Review Ivy and Bean Break the Fossil Record

Author

Annie Barrows born and raised in San Diego (California) is a professional writer and is well-known for her Ivy and Bean series books. She has written books for adults too. From 2003 she began her journey in writing books for kids and before that she was working as an editor and has written books for adults. From 2003 to 2018 she has published 11 books in Ivy and Bean series. She knows palmistry and written about fortune telling as well.

Sophie Blackhall has been the backbone in illustrating pictures for Ivy and Bean series. She is an Australian living in New York. She has illustrated more than thirty children books. Her illustrations are really flawless and make the kids dwell into the book for hours together.

Check Ivy and Bean series of books here.

About Ivy and Bean break the fossil record (August 2007)

 The storyline of all the books in this series revolves around two little friends Ivy and Bean. In this story, the two little girls try all possible things to make a world record by searching for the fossil of a dinosaur in Bean’s backyard. This is the 3rd book in the series. It all begins when the two little girls find an opportunity to read books in class. Bean reads “Book of world records” and tries to get her name in the books by attempting several things including inserting straws in her mouth etc. She is indeed naughty. At the same time, Ivy was engrossed to read about Mary Anning the paleontologists who discovered the fossil of an ichthyosaur. This inspiration of Ivy on Mary Anning and the fire of Bean to make a world record combine together and soon these two little girls start looking for fossils in Bean’s backyard. They discover bones, and much more to break Mary Anning’s record.

And now, I want you to read the book to know what happens in detail.

How does this book make the best gift to kids?

This book is written in simple English and kids of age 7+ can understand. Also, it will help them improve their vocabulary. The illustrations are neatly crafted to let kids imagine how the children in the story play their characters. It includes fun and naughty activities of kids which will attract kids for further reading. Finally, the science of paleontology can be emphasized to kids easily. Good to have this book at home to enthuse kids reading habit.

Best Better and Bad about the book

The best part of the book is, kids will feel glad to read books that contain characters of the same age. It will be easy for them to relate to. Therefore here in this book, they will understand about word record. Certainly will need your help to know how one can get their names in a world record.

Next, they will develop an interest in Paleontology as Ivy and Bean in this book spend most of their time in the backyard looking for bones and fossils. Paleontology is a vast subject and feel glad that you can teach them easily with the help of this story.

Parents can educate kids about basic discipline by comparing the act of Ivy and Bean. Best way to let kids know about good and bad along with the consequences.

However, the author could have focused a bit more on polishing Bean’s role as she was portrayed to be a bullying child with her sister. This sets a wrong example for the kids who read the book.

Since it is girls dominated book, boy children might not show interest is another drawback.

Finally, the bad point about this story is giving importance to witchcraft, spells, and ghosts. It might be required to keep the book moving but target audience being kids the author could have handled the story in a different way.

Caution Note to Parents

In case you decide to buy this book for kids, then you need to be around and explain to them about Paleontology. Do not allow them to experiment anything alone like Ivy and Bean did in the story. Also, educate them about bad behavior and let them understand the outcome of such an attitude.

Alternatively, for older kids ask them to read the book and then sit with them to know if they understood things correctly. Provide inputs wherever required and make sure they interpret the right things rightly.

My Rating

I would give 8 / 10 for this book. The only issue with the story is the bad behavior of the kids, mean attitude with siblings, and the witchcraft. Otherwise, the story was good that will ignite the kids to understand about Paleontology. A good book to improve kid’s vocabulary.

I would personally suggest you purchase the book only when you know your kids are matured enough to interpret information. Hence I would make a choice of gifting this book to elder kids above age 9. You can still read the story to younger kids and do not emphasize more on the bad attitude part.

Get your copy today on Amazon and share your thoughts with us to help other parents like us.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. All the opinions are either mine or of my kids.  This post contains affiliate links. An affiliate link means that when you purchase using the link provided in this page, I would get a small referral fees WITHOUT any extra cost to you. I highly appreciate your understanding and support.

Book Review of Ada Twist, Scientist

Book review of ada twist scientist
Product Reviewed:
Ada Twist, Scientist

Author: Andrea Beaty and David Roberts(Illustrator).

Reading level: 5 – 7 years olds

Star Rating: 4.0 / 5 stars

The Strength: Awesome fiction story, well narrated, written and illustrated with beautiful pictures with the portrait of the main character as female who is very curious about everything around her and questioning it.

Our Opinion: A wonderful picture book for the kids to bring out the scientists in themselves.

Its been 4 months since I heard about this book and wanted to present one for my daughter. Coincidentally, one of my neighbor had bought it for her daughter and lent me once she had completed it.

The same day I started reading it for my daughter and both of us were more curious and interested in going through each chapter and finally we finished it so soon and I must say it was “Awesome”. from then on I was wishing to write a review of Ada Twist, Scientist and here it goes.

Ada Twist Scientist

Our review of Ada Twist, Scientist

What if a little girl starts to find answers for her “why” and “how” questions, is all about Ada Twist, Scientist. Sounds familiar? An awesome fiction story with the simple line of what if a kid starts to find answer for all her “why” questions through her endless curiosity for science.

The heart of the story, main character, “Ada” is portrayed young, black, school going female, who is endlessly curious, and firm to find out the “why” of everything around her, she just can’t help questioning and conducting experiments to test her theories for, Why are there pointy things stuck to a rose? Why are there hairs growing inside your nose? and so on. When her house fills with a horrific, toe-curling smell, Ada gets read to find the source. But unfortunately her experiments lead to increase the stink and get her into trouble. She finds the solution or not, but her way of approach for the problem, her thinking, testing, questioning and eliminating is all about the book.

But her parents fail to understand her curiosity and send Ada to the Thinking chair for the mess she had created. Distressed Ada, keeps thinking as much possible and makes it an even bigger mess. Finally, the parents get to understand that their daughter is not naughty, but much curious in finding solutions for all the questions around her.

The best part is when Ada’s parents understands her daughter and starts encouraging her by helping her find solutions for the everything she questions.

This book is indeed a book for parents to get to know the curiosity in their kids and to encourage them when they question on something. at the same time helps kids to understand that not everything will turn out perfectly in at the first try.

Let me discuss some of the things which could have been better in the book

We observed that the writer seems to accomplish so many things in the book at the same time. I think, because of this, the intended meaning gets carried away by “progressive” paragraphs with different messages.

The stress on being a troublemaker seems that kids can only become scientists if they become troublemakers.

Though the writer’s intention is to celebrate black girls’ achievements, the writing does at times provides more positive thoughts towards the two white boys while suppressing the goodness in Ada.

The book is too wordy for anyone below 5 years of age. For preschoolers, I would say, Parents should read out to them. 

My daughter’s view:

Cool Book to learn science. 

Ada Twist Scientist Book Reivew
How to buy Ada Twist Scientist (* Affiliate Links)

You can buy this book online from Amazon.com (US Link) or from Amazon.co.uk (for UK ). You can also get this from famous book repositories or book stores. 

Comment in this page and let us know if you have read any other book for science protagonists. We would love to read and review about them, so that the knowledge can be spread to other readers as well. 

Disclaimer:All the opinions in this review is my own (or my kids’ 🙂 ). This is not a sponsored post. This post contains affiliate links. An affiliate link means that when you purchase using the link provided in this page, I would get a small referral fees WITHOUT any extra cost to you. I highly appreciate your understanding and support.

Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas : Nature Learning for Kids

Koalas Port Douglas

This post is part of our excursion ideas where kids are entrusted to learn animal biology. Let’s dive in. 

Wildlife habitat is the place where you can find different species of animals and birds. I always prefer taking my kids to such a place during a vacation to educate them about different habitats.

The Wildlife habitat in Port Douglas is my all time favorite place.

There is so much to see and learn in that place. Kids are allowed to touch and feed animals including pelicans, crocodiles, pythons, and kangaroos. The highlight is the photo sessions with the koalas. Yes, we had fun interacting with kangaroos and koalas the featured animals of Australia.

Koalas Port Douglas
Image:Source

Let me share my detailed review about this place and you will understand the need for taking your kids to this place. We will start one at a time and first know how to reach there, the ticket details and the timings. Then we will also see what the things that kids should not miss visiting there?

Where is it located? – Nearby the Captain Cook Highway and that is just 3 miles in the south of the central Port Douglas. Shuttle services are there as well you can drive on your own and park the vehicle in the parking lot.

Children under 3 are not charged and a family of four can include one kid for free of the cost entry ticket. There are tickets for adults, kids, and family. Each offers concession based on the package.

You can reach there by 8 AM and stay till 5 PM. However, a quality 2 hours time is required to spend. When you go with kids make sure you don’t rush them and they can enjoy the more time they spend there. You can purchase a ticket which is valid for five days and you can make an advance booking. But yes once you visit, then the ticket validity gets over.

Things that would interest kids

It’s obvious that kids feel interested to see each animal and depending on the children age, they will have fun. Smaller kids will love to see animals; little older kids can understand the science behind animals. To which family they belong to, their food habits, their behavior, etc will be observed by kids. Overall, every age group kid will have fun with animals.

Special attractions inside the wildlife habitat

Grassland Environment
   Image:Source

  • Native Australian Wildlife

You can witness several animals which are native to Australia. For instance, the kangaroos and koalas are marsupials which are found only in Australia. Likewise, there are many animals with different qualities.

  • Rainforest Habitat center

There are more than 180 species in the wildlife habitat and is divided into 3 environments namely the grassland, wetlands, and the rainforest. The rainforest contains the tropical birds namely the rainbow lorikeet, cockatoo, mysterious cassowary, and the kookaburra.

Rainforest Habitat center
  Image:Source

  • Wetland Environment

Here you can find crocs that are found in the salt water and fresh water. Kids can learn about them, their lifestyle, etc.

  • Grassland Environment

The kangaroos and koalas are roaming around and it is easy to interact with them. Even kids can touch them and have fun.

Highlights of Wildlife Habitat

Artamus leucorynchus Port Douglas

Image:Source

Apart from the usual zoo, this place offers a different kind of experience where you can join for the breakfast and lunch of the birds and animals respectively.

  1. Breakfast with Birds – Yes, when you are available between 8 and 10 in the morning it is the breakfast time for the birds and you can accompany to feed them. Make sure you book for this session in advance as the seats are very limited. Kids will feel excited to take part in this activity. They will observe the eating pattern of different birds and that experience cannot be given if you miss this activity.
  1. Lunch with Lorikeets – Again another special event for kids to have fun with is the Rainbow Lorikeets. You can feed them directly during the time duration of 12 Noon and 2 PM. You can have your lunch with these birds. The colorful lunch session with these birds is mind-blowing.
  1. Koalas Selfie – Yet an exciting experience is to take a selfie with the koalas and its really fun. Kids will have so much joy to hug these marsupials and take photos. Ensure to educate kids not to hurt animals. We know sometimes little kids become naughty too.

What else can be done by kids in the Wildlife Habitat?

kids in the Wildlife Habitat
  

Image:Source

Is there anything else I need to tell for kid’s fun in the wildlife habitat? You may think that they had too much already. But the fact is there is much more. More than 1600 animals are present there and kids can visit many numbers of times. You can ask them to make a note of animals every time they visit and understand about each one in detail. This will make them responsible to observe all in detail.

The long crossway allows kids to run on the ground and it is a great way to spend their vacation with animals.

Elvis is a black cockatoo that is waiting to talk to people and always wait near the café. Do you know why? That is the place where every visitor drops by.

The buffet is another special attraction for kids in this place. They can fill their tummy to go around one more time.

Finally, comes the gift shop from where you can purchase some souvenirs and they are a great gift to your family members and friends. Several reference books about animals and birds and toys make feel kids say wow about this place.

Port Douglas Kangaroo
Image:Source

Educational Values Offered in Wildlife Habitat

Kids can gain the following values by attending this place and you must understand them to provide support to little ones.

  1. Language Development – When kids move around the place they talk with parents and start asking questions about animals. This will improve their speaking ability and also the thinking ability. Provide an explanation and engage with kids to improve their vocabulary.
  2. Family time – They will not only understand animals and their family but also know the value of living beings and family time. They can learn from animals about love and care. How do the baby animals move along the parent animal etc?
  3. Food habits – The feeding time will educate about the food habits of birds. They can feel fear-free to move close to birds. Fear of animals will be reduced when you often take them to this place.
  4. Environmental Protection – Kids will learn about different species that do no longer exist. They will start thinking about protecting animals. They may not harm animals and will start conserving them. Sense of responsibility is inculcated at a young age.
  5. Physical Exercise – Making them walk around is an exercise and without knowing they will move to visit all animals. This will enhance gross motor skills and build stamina.

Places nearby Wildlife habitat

Four Mile Beach – Will kids ever tell no to the beach. Certainly not and kids will love to have a great time in the sand. It is possible to walk, run and even cycle. Can you imagine cycling in the sand? Yes, but be careful when there is heavy tide there. The different session conducted there include yoga classes, kite surfing, kayak hire and so much more.

Four mile Beach
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During the low tide days, you can see beautiful corals and fishing is the best time pass activity there. Kids can merrily enjoy catching fish and the best place to visit during the summer season.

Turtles are seen sometimes and kayak sport event is an adventurous one which will even enthuse adults to go there often.

Sea Temple is a calm place well suited to visit with family.

Great Barrier Reef – Best experience for kids and adults of all age. Kids will initially hesitate but once they start experiencing they will refuse to come out of water. Will have an excellent time with the fish and fear of water as well as sea animals evaporates.

Reef boat lunch experience watching whales, sharks and turtles make you feel glad about your decision to visit Port Douglas.
Great Barrier Reef
Image:Source

Low Isles

Go for a short trip with the low isles and enjoy snorkeling with a great trip in the wave dance. Here you can, even more, have fun than going in a reef boat. But the choice is yours. Do you need more fun than these places? You must try visiting these places to enjoy holidays with kids.

Things that would interest kids

Image:Source

Coloring Activity – Girl as a Scientist

Perception & Association is two important words for growing kids. Kid’s associate themselves with the things that are surrounded by them, the society, the parents and the things that they do in their childhood. This association is what builds a belief system for kids. 

This activity is one of my favorite one which will help the building blocks of your little girl to associate herself as a science girl. 

Colouring Activity For Kids
On a Saturday evening, my kids were set out to have some coloring fun. I was looking for suitable coloring page online and I stumbled upon two such pages.  They looked great and exactly what I wanted my little ones to look up to. 

In both the coloring pages, the main character is a girl and she is doing science experiments. Yay !  We started with the first one.  My younger daughter (4 year old) jump started the coloring work.  
Started doing colouring

As usual, I never provided any guidance on the color and let her come up with her own creativity.  Meanwhile, My elder daughter also started coloring her own print out. 

I must say, she did a brilliant work! 

Colouring activity

Coluring Activity For Little Scientists

Now it is time for our next one. I saved the best for the last. 

I stumbled upon this page Ariel as a scientist (from The Little Mermaid) working in the laboratory. It looks awesome to see her in princess dress but with safety goggles.

Yes, it is a coloring page best suitable for little kids enthusiastic about science to color.

Ariel as a Scientist colouring in page

The kids were excited to see a princess in a scientist outfit. I believe that’s a thought provoking thinking to make princesses to be interested in science. 

Girl colouring in Ariel (from The Little Mermaid) as a Scientist picture

Ariel as a Scientist colouring in - encouraging girls in STEM

This picture was created by NathanLee James. The image is given in black and white for letting the kids color and have fun. 

You can find the actual image here. Right-click on the image and choose “view image” to print it from the top drop-down menu. You can do it that way as I did and let your kids color the image based on their creativity.

Coloring is a great activity for kids as well as for adults.  When they color such images they will start thinking to become one. Best way to nurture girl children to aim high. My girls learned that they can be pretty as well as be a science girl. It is a wonderful association to build upon among the kids. 

So I decided to discuss the topic further and built up a bed time story. In that, I portrayed that Ariel is a scientist and how she rescued a village got attacked by aliens with her smart science innovations. 

I am sure, the story should have struck some cords. Because, we saw our girls trying to get a lab coat for their barbies after this activity. Quite a remarkable change, isn’t it?

You can select several images and provide to your kids to color them as part of STEM activity. These images inspire girls to become scientist, astronauts, and much more.  Always choose based on your kid’s best interest. 

Both my elder one 5+ years and younger one 3+ years colored per their imagination.

I taught them color combinations and also inspired them to learn science by carrying our experiments just like Ariel doing in the drawing.

Go coloring!!

Kids colouring activity

Ariel as a scientist colouring in page encouraging girls in STEM

STEM for Girls : Importance & Advantages

I am a mother for two little angels Pritika and Tisha. Both of them are curious little ones and they always ask questions about everything. How and why etc. That is when I decided to explain them things with details to make them think and understand. At the time I got to know about STEM movement for girls.  I was so happy.

Let me share details about STEM with you today in this post. First of all, you may ask why STEM movement for girls? Continue reading and I have given all the details.

What is STEM for girls? And why is it important? Encouraging girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math...

I will explain three different things to connect the dots and make you realize the value of STEM and STEM for girls.

What is STEM?

STEM – All the alphabets in the word STEM stands for

Science + Technology + Engineering + Math

Traditional schooling segregates the concepts of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics teaches them separately as discrete subjects. However, STEM does not follow the suit. Rather, it focuses on converging the subjects and teaching them via real-world applications. The STEM curriculum works by exposing individuals to opportunities where they can solve real-life situations, smoothening the learning process.

The world, today, revolves around the concepts devised by STEM. The four disciplines have becomes intensely involved in every nook and cranny of our lives. It is due to this that propagating STEM knowledge has become a necessity. However, teaching the concepts via traditional means is sure to be futile. A specialized curriculum facilitates institutions to build a solid foundation for future careers. Furthermore, it mentally builds them up for active participation.

But why STEM for girls

As far as memory serves, we have constantly been told that boys are better at sciences and math. Conversely, girls have been constantly showered in the stereotypical mentality that they are more suited to arts’ subjects. Therefore, it isn’t surprising that girls have a meager representation in the science and math circles.

For instance, in the United States, women make up the only ¼ of the entire STEM workforce. Contrarily, women dominate men when it comes a STEM degree. Further statistics show that women constitute 15% of the engineering force and 25% of the computer and mathematical sciences. In Australia, women made upon 27% of the STEM workforce in 2016.

There are various reasons for such a meager constitution of women in STEM. The prime reason is the lack of practical experiences. Women have been quoted saying that they love STEM activities but the lack of practical exercises discouraged them from building a career in the field.

Yes, it is a fact and many statistics talk about that. Women are still treated secondary in many countries. There needs to be a balance and all women should get equal opportunity. This can be achieved only when they are educated. So there is a special emphasis on STEM for girls. Also, this movement will let women understand their everyday science clearly and they can enjoy all the work they do at home or outside.  

Top 5 reasons to have STEM for girls

 

  • To do away with stereotyping. Women are equally capable as men. They are strong intellectually.
  • They can get jobs that are paid high if they master the concepts in the STEM way. They need not stay behind anymore.
  • Women must shine in all field and be a role model for the upcoming generation.
  • They can feel empowered to be at par with their men counterpart.
  • Last but the most important is they can teach kids right from the inception of the baby in their womb and create a great future.

 

Across the country, many educators are struggling hard to implement this STEM movement for girls and I would like to contribute a small bit to that ocean. Hence started this site with all fun experiments for girls to teach science. Off course, my little ones are getting benefited with my initiative.

The Gradual Increase in Women STEM Graduates

Slowly yet steadily, the gender representation of the STEM curriculum is changing. The emergence of modern ages and contemporary mentalities are slowly bridging the gap between the male and female STEM workforce. Statistics from numerous sources have recorded an increasing number of women choosing to study STEM disciplines in college. The last 10 years have witnessed a substantial increase of female STEM graduates. Just in the US, there were over 200,000 STEM graduates in 2016.

These numbers are undoubtedly voracious. And the number of women choosing to opt for the STEM curriculum is constantly increasing. Regardless, there still exists a large gender gap. This is because the number of men choosing the STEM subjects is growing as well. Moreover, the growth percentages of men are also depreciating the percentage of women on an annual basis. The workforce of women joining the STEM fields has dropped to a mere 24% of the total workforce.

The Need For Women In STEM

The aforementioned statistics should be abundant for you to understand the need for women in STEM fields. However, why is it so? Aren’t men enough to shape our future with the power of STEM?

The short answer is, no. Men aren’t enough. Multiple reasons support the involvement of women in STEM fields. Here are a few of them:

 

  1. An Ever-Expanding Field of Opportunities

The field of STEM is always expanding. It will constantly keep surprising us with newer concepts and technologies that are currently unknown. The involvement of girls within the STEM curriculum prepares them for understanding and tackling all such concepts. Moreover, knowledge of the vital technologies will ultimately help them to get better at using the technologies that power the world.

 

  1. Fighting Major Problems

No major problem in the history of mankind has ever been solved by the mere involvement of a single person. It was the unity of a massive team of people who solved any problem known to us. STEM workforces actively participate in solving the major problems of the earth. The involvement of women provides fresh perspectives on the problem. This allows problems to be solved more effectively. Moreover, with their perspectives, women can effortlessly collaborate with men to ensure a better future for the planet.

 

  1. Improvement in Workforce Quality

The economic environment of the world today is more competitive than ever. And to make a mark upon this market, there is the only thing that companies can do. It is to innovate and develop tools that satisfy some needs existing within the market. Involving women in such a workforce can help the STEM field to get access to a major talent pool. Such talents pools are known to bring in a different perspective upon the daily functions that include, innovating and developing products. This, ultimately, increases the overall quality of the workforce.

 

  1. A Boost For The Economy

From the economic point of view, the involvement of women in STEM workforces is a win-win situation. Contrarily, the lack of women in the workforce can only mean one thing – a deduction in the taxpayer’s money. Moreover, there is a loss in terms of potential if we ignore the benefits that women in STEM bring along with themselves. It was can be agreed that training women for STEM jobs can cost a fortune. However, this sum is nothing compared to the output that these women generate once they are fully trained.

 

  1. A Source of Inspiration For The Upcoming Generations

Statistically, a majority of youngsters aspire to become like their heroes. These youngsters want to follow the footsteps of their heroes and they make their way through the sands of time. However, without women in the STEM workforce, how can one aspire to inspire such youngsters. Not only does having a substantial women workforce attract more children towards the field, but it also encourages them to pursue fields that they previously imagined impossible.

STEM for the budding girls

The first step to moving up the ladder is to start with little kids. Also, this research mentions that there is a gap in science achievements right from the young age and keeps on growing till kids attain the age of 13. They almost lost everything I would say. To bridge that gap we focus on the little one as young as one-year-old.

 

We would recommend parents and teachers to start STEM activities right from preschool. Let them accept the way of learning. They will be so glad to make their hands dirty while studying. No more theory classes please start allowing them to do these experiments to understand the world.

 

Take a look at this post about GENDER BIAS and you will feel worried as girl kids are competent enough but due to gender bias, they are not allowed to grow.

Join hands with me to promote the STEM movement for girls to make girls strong and knowledgeable.

Let me tell you my way to this

Tom MacInnes mentions that “Limiting freedom and knowledge to girls due to gender bias must not be allowed at all.” I strongly agree with it and hence started using STEM way of learning with my kids. However, I will not force them to do what I say and they can choose to decide their career when they grow. I will seed STEM in them and they will grow accordingly.

Get girls enthused with STEM

OK, so hopefully I’ve got you a little ramped up about the importance of encouraging girls in STEM from a young age.

You might be wondering – how exactly do I do that?

There is no single method to do it, but let me share my way of doing with you. You can modify and tweak according to your creativity and add more fun. Find my experience and learning’s as well as suggestions for you to get inspired.

First, motivate girl children with role models and specifically women who have accomplished great things.

There is a saying too which says that you must see to become an inspiration is the key to success. Make sure you take kids to places where women are shining. For instance to a shop owned by a dynamic lady. To lady pediatricians and so on. Let them feel the strength of ladies. Do not project yourself low in front of them. Mom the first and best impression for kids.  Get them along in all the work you do so that they will learn from you to become strong and independent.

Coming to the teaching part, do not scold them for their questions. That is their curiosity and only that will help them become great individuals in the future. So nurture them by giving answers to their questions. Do not answer in a boredom tone but explain with enthusiasm and wherever possible demonstrate with examples.

Do not worry about the right or the wrong answers but keep on trying to answer with patience by asking them questions. This will make them think and you will be surprised to learn from their answers. All you need to do is to be with them and work along.

Use your smartphones in a smart way and get answers from Google and show them videos to let them understand. When you take them out, there explain the happenings relating to science.

Know what you speak

Do not hesitate to give numbers and scientific explanation to girl children. Never underestimate them. Encourage them with their interest. Allow them to explore. The sky is the limit.  

Take them out

Go to places like the museum, aquarium, zoo, etc and not once but many times. They will observe several things during every visit. What will happen when they visit more than once? They will visit 3 times only with excitement and learning will be very less. Only the fourth and the subsequent times they will start looking at things. Start asking questions and understanding. The more time you visit one place with them, the more they will gain knowledge.  

 

Tap their interest

When you go with them you will slowly know what they like and what they understand. Start talking to them about that. Show them videos about that and give explanation, Ask them what they understand and what they don’t. Listen to their explanation. Do not load them with information. Just fine tune what they have understood. Slowly feed them with inputs. Accept what they say and do not argue. They will stop talking when they feel intimidated. But that does not mean you must not educate them. After a while tell them why they are wrong and where they went wrong. Allow them to think and correct their understanding. They need to come out on their own for a strong foundation.

Make it a habit to read books

Do this by not forcing them to read books, but by teaching them in a playful way. You read in front of them. They will start imitating you. Girl children love imitating. So you can give them their age relevant book and let them read. Don’t correct them when they blabber in the name of reading. Just enjoy and cheer them. They will start reading eventually. Get them books with pictures and let them see them. Ask them to build a story about that and every time they will get different ideas. Make books their best friend.

Buy toys that will make them think

Give them Barbie and ask them to dress her up. But some lego blocks and let them build them. Slowly increase the difficulty level. You build a model and ask them to observe. Not only store-bought things but give them used things like tissue roll, craft papers, colors and give them the freedom to do what they would love to. Be with them providing some instructions but never force them. Also, don’t overboard on them and suffocate them.

Science kits for girls

It’s sad that still, markets show only dolls for girls and car for boy children. Do not go by that. Purchase based on age and not on gender. Do not always tell her that she is a girl and should be girly blah blah etc. Let her think freely and construct things with block games. Never start with color discrimination like pink for girls. Allow her to go all out to choose her things. She will become an independent thinker.

Let them play free

I know you are the most loving mom and you want your kid to learn dance, swimming, keyboard and everything in one day. So you enroll in all classes and not even sparing the summer camps. Please give them space and time to play on their own. No more time-bound class, she needs to think on her own and play freely. Give her the materials and let her decide her game. Show her the book room and she will choose a book. Be with her but as dumb as possible. Stop interfering and only explain to her wherever required. 

Start introducing STEM to her. It starts for girls of age 1 and so you can do the activities involving her.

Elsa loving kids should go into the glowing small frozen fun. Get her with sherbet made at home to pamper her sweet eating habit.

Check with us for loads and tons of ideas.

 

Do not feel about failures when doing these experiments and tell them those are their discoveries.

You need to tell them to find a way out. Fine tune results, modify ingredients, change calculation and so on. They can come up with assumptions and make them work.

Motivate, Motivate and Motivate until they get that winning mindset

You need to stay motivated first. Never allow them to cry and tell them to try until they succeed. Don’t push them, however. Just motivate with good words and real-time examples. Show them a miserably cooked food and explain them to make it better. They must know that you fail too. But you never give up. Never feel frustrated in front of them. Cheer them for small success and never scold them for failures. Instead, scold them if they stop trying. Tell them stories of successful people who failed and never gave up till they won.  

Be their dictionary

Use tough, hard and huge words in front of the while conversing. Tell them the meaning and use it in daily life. They will quickly catch the pattern and decode words. They should pronounce, understand and do really big things. Train them to think that way. This foundation will take them to greater heights.

Regularly purchase things for them, especially STEM Supplies

I am not threatening you but just sharing my views. Keep stock of things which will be required for activities. But trust me most of them can be done with things available at home. Try these experiments and you don’t need to spend a penny. Make sure you have test tubes, magnifying glass, lens, sticky tapes, and other not regularly used things to not miss any experiment posted in this site. They are not expensive though.

Ask kids to save money every time when grandparents give money. This can be used to buy big things.

My elder one Pritika loves plants and animals. She loves to watch fantasies. She aspires to become a cultivator. The younger one Tisha is so flexible and loves practicing gymnastics. She dreams to become a doctor. However, these are too early at the moment, but STEM is really helping them to have fun, and understand science in a better way.

STEM Programs From Around The World

The uprising demand for STEM courses has unleashed a wave of STEM programs all around the world. A few such programs include:

  1. digIT – Established as a program under the ICT Summer Schools Initiative, digIT is funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Education. Students are invited to the program based on recommendations. Further details can be found here: https://www.amt.edu.au/digit

 

  1. Early Learning STEM Australia – Commonly referred by its acronym ELSA, the Early Learning STEM Australia focuses on propagating STEM knowledge straight from the preschool days. The initiative allows children to develop STEM knowledge by allowing them to play and experiment. The initiative has been actively working to reduce the gender gap in STEM workforces. You can read about them here: https://elsa.edu.au/

 

  1. WISE – WISE is one of the most notable initiatives based in the UK. Developed as a B2B service, they provide employment, educational, and training services for women who are interested in the field of STEM. They also collaborate with people to amplify their impact and further inspire youngsters. Read more about them here: https://www.wisecampaign.org.uk/about-us/

 

  1. STEM Like A Girl – The STEM Like A Girl is the most prominent global initiative that actively works to counter the gender gap in STEM workforces. They lay heavy stress on STEM education for girls by assisting them in developing interest from an early age. Moreover, they build skills that serve girls for a lifelong basis, irrespective of the career path. You can read more about STEM Like A Girl here: http://stemlikeagirl.org/our-mission/our-approach/

 

  1. Teach First – In plain terms, Teach First refers to themselves as a charity working for the equality of education in the UK. When they discovered the need for women graduates in the STEM workforces, they went about developing solutions to close the gender gap. They help individuals by actively supporting them in developing the existing knowledge and facilitating the further path for them. A more detailed study about Teach First can be found right here: https://www.teachfirst.org.uk/content/science-technology-engineering-and-maths-stem

 

  1. Teach For All – Teach For All is a global network managed by 50 government organizations. This initiative works to propagate the knowledge of STEM within communities that do not have access to traditional schools. With their initiative, they aim to increase the impact that STEM has on this world. Their other functions, such as recruiting, training, development, etc. can be found here: https://teachforall.org/global-stem-initiative

 

  1. Tech Needs Girls – A STEM program originating from Ghana, Tech Needs Girls focuses on getting more women and girls into the field of science and technology. They strive tirelessly to provide opportunities to girls to ensure that every one of them has a chance of being educated and led into the STEM workforce to bridge the gender gaps. You can learn more about their achievements here: http://www.soronkosolutions.com/tng.html

 

  1. Curious Minds – The Curious Minds programs was set in the form of a Government initiative in New Zealand. To encourage better engagement in science and technology, the Government set it with a 10-year plan. The initiative works by pushing boundaries and delving into the arena of difficult questions. With their initiative, the Government plans to increase the involvement of girls with STEM. For more details regarding the initiative, you check the link out: https://www.curiousminds.nz/about/

STEM Challenges for Young Kids

Adversities are what make any task 1000 times more exciting. In the field of learning about STEM, these adversities come in the form of challenges and competitions that further engage students with STEM subjects. Moreover, these challenges also work on the students’ soft skills and enable them to develop confidence, teamwork, and other such practical skills.

A few top STEM challenges are:

  1. OVO Energy Innovators – This challenge requires teams of students to work on creating creative solutions for everyday cycling issues.

Link: https://www.stem.org.uk/become-ovo-energy-innovator

 

  1. Ultimate STEM Challenge – The Ultimate STEM Challenge requires children of ages 11-14 to use their skills and tackle the assigned problems with simple solutions.

Link: https://www.stem.org.uk/enrichment/competitions-challenges/ultimate-stem-challenge

 

  1. Beat the Flood – The challenge involves kids to design a model of a home that can withstand the effects of flooding.

Link: https://practicalaction.org/beattheflood

 

  1. The Wind Power Challenge – The Wind Power Challenge requires children to focus on renewable energy and focus on solutions that can help them to build wind-powered machines.

Link: https://practicalaction.org/wind-power-challenge-stem

 

  1. CanSat – CanSat is a simulation of a real satellite. The challenge posed in front of students is to fit all major subsystems that are found in an actual satellite. Further, the simulation should provide a parachute to ensure survival on landing. Finally, it should be able to carry out scientific experiments and transmit data.

Link: https://www.stem.org.uk/esero/cansat

 

  1. Cisco Little Big Futures – The Cisco Little Big Future consist of a series of challenges associated with disciplines of STEM.

Link: https://www.stem.org.uk/enrichment/competitions-challenges/cisco-little-big-futures

 

  1. The Solar Challenge – The Solar Challenge is set in southern Zimbabwe where very few people have access to electricity. The challenge is mostly for 8-14-year-olds who find out ways to utilize solar energy.

Link: https://practicalaction.org/solar-challenge-isle-of-man

 

  1. NASA Student Competitions – The NASA Student Competition involves contests that are based for the next generation of explorers. There are a wide variety of topics that one could choose from.

Link: https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/stu-competitions-current-opps.html

 

  1. American Mathematics Competition – The American Mathematics Competiton is conducted for the middle and high-schoolers. There are three levels involved in the competition.

Link: https://www.maa.org/math-competitions/amc-8

 

  1. The Department of Energy National Science Bowl – This is one of the largest academic competitions in which the student’s knowledge is tested based on science and math disciplines.

Link: https://science.energy.gov/wdts/nsb/

The Over-Achievers of STEM

Here are some of the notable women achievers in the STEM field that you and your kid can draw inspiration from:

  1. Katherine Johnson – NASA Space Scientist
  2. Barbara Askins – Physical Chemistry
  3. Rebecca Cole – MD
  4. Elizabeth Blackburn – Cell Biology
  5. Rear Admiral Grace Hopper – Inventor & Computer Scientist
  6. Cynthia Breazeal – Computer Science, Robotics
  7. Adriana Ocampo – Planetary Geologist
  8. Stephanie A. Burns – Organic Chemistry
  9. Roberta Bondar – Astronaut Neurologist
  10. Anna Caraiani – Mathematics

Reference for STEM girls

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SARAH from Little Bins for Little Hands has taken the initiative to promote STEM and Guide for STEAM and this post is an extension of that. 

I am glad that you read the entire post patiently. Thank you and wishing you to stay friends with us. A cool gift for your little girls. Coloring page for the scientist in your kids.

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Halley Harper; Science Girl Extraordinare: Summer Set In Motion : Book Review by GoScienceGirls



11 Experiments That Failed Book Review

a go science girls book review of 11 experiments that failed by jenny Offill and Nancy Carpenter

Book Review of 11 Experiments That Failed

Product Reviewed: 11 Experiments That Failed

Author: Jenny Offill & Nancy Carpenter.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years olds.

Star Rating: 4.6 / 5 stars

Our review of 11 Experiments That Failed

An awesome book which is well written with lot of humor and introduces the kids to the scientific way of thinking and performing experiments with the available things in the home with loads of fun.

This is simply an hilarious story book where a little girl tries to do the 11 experiments and each one turns to be funnier than the next. It is really wonderful that the main character is a young, little, curious girl who thinks herself as a scientist, gets dressed up like a scientist with her pink goggles, gloves, lab coat and performs various experiments which fails spectacularly.

She tries to experiment the questions like : Can a kid make it through the winter eating only snow and ketchup? Do dogs like to be covered in glitter? Can a washing machine wash dishes? What makes fungus grow?and so on. And she decide to find out the answer for those by performing scientific experiments. That is, to try eating only ketchup and snow and observe the results. Sprinks glitter on her dog and checks for the results. Trying to put the dishes in washing machine to see what happens. Trying to experiment on how fungus grow with her brother’s shoes. And the most funny part is she documents all the facts from the experiments, though each one of it fails. All of the experiments have a question, a hypothesis, step-by step instructions (like what is needed, what to do) and results (what happened). For Example : “Question:What makes fungus grow? Hypothesis: If left in a closet, food will rot and become a colorful fungus garden.

What You Need:

Brother’s shoes, Bread and cheese, Water.

What to Do:

  1. Place food inside shoes.
  2. Sprinkle with water.
  3. Hide shoes in back of closet.
  4. Return in two weeks.

What Happened:

Experiment is still under way.” (Accompanying drawing shoes a tennis shoe with mushrooms growing out of it.) Looks silly but awesome right? Budding scientists will surely find plenty to laugh aloud in this book, along with new ideas for experiments to perform on their own.

Each experiment is unique and though we could guess on the results we enjoyed reading and  kept on laughing throughout the book. Illustration along with the mix photographs and drawing makes the book more appealing

An awesome “must read” books for the budding scientist and to be read in the classrooms too. Any young scientist will love this book, at the same time if your kid is already inquisitive, curious, insatiable, and you have had enough, then probably you can hide this book as this might create new ideas in them 🙂  (just kidding). This is an hilarious book for the kids ages 4-8!!

My Daughter’s verdict

“It was funny and humorous and I loved the experiments and the pictures in the book. Would like to experiment on something with the things available from the home”, she said. And as a mother I was very happy on hearing her say so.

Where to Buy

The book is available across all online book shops including Amazon.com (for the US) and Amazon.co.uk (for the UK). It was also available in local book depositories. You can also try checking at your local book store. I just wish you look to find it in stock.

Check out our other book reviews:

Disclaimer:
All the opinions in this review is my own (or my kids’ 🙂 ). This post does have some affiliate links. An affiliate link means that when you purchase using the link provided in this page, I would get a small referral fees without any extra cost to you. I high appreciate your understanding and support.