Saturday, May 23, 2009

Teaching Science is Fun

Although I am now engaged in language teaching, namely English and Malay, I was originally trained as an Integrated Science teacher. I enjoyed being a science teacher because I got to see my pupils having fun doing the experiments themselves. Initially, Malaysia adopted Integrated Science where students had a chance to do the experiments according to worksheets, write down the outcome of them and write out conclusions. They have hands-on throughout the three years of this curriculum.

Even a thermometer fascinates a Form 1 student. They will be measuring temperatures of water being heated and those of liquid being cooled down. Sometimes they fight over the use of thermometers that many of them drop and break to pieces. They are usually asked to pay for the damage as a way to reduce breakage.

There is one experiment when I ask a volunteer to place his hand on the dome of a Van de Graaff Generator to see the working of static electricity. The students' hair will be standing on ends just like me in the photo which I showed them. My sister had the photo and she kept it as remembrance. They will always remember this experiment.

I also enjoyed cutting out live cow's eyes to show my students the various parts of the eye. This act also backfired on me when kamma caught up with me. You can read about this in my earlier posts under the label 'Religious Matter'.

The pin-hole camera which the students have made really makes them understand better the principle that light travels in straight lines.

All in all, both the teacher and his students enjoy Science if experiments are allowed to be carried out, as the saying goes 'I hear and I forget, I see and I remember but I do and I understand.'

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