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Monday, 28 July 2008

Science for Seven-Year-Olds

I recently heard a boy asking the following question.

"Do you know what gravity is?"

The older girl he was asking answered no, and he went into a long rant of explanation, describing the invisible force causing everything to drop clunking onto the floors.

It is no wonder science so frequently fails to appeal to youngsters nowadays, as compared to games and TV shows and iPhones.

Learning Science in primary school is good. School children get to observe the surroundings more and learn to appreciate all the things that make the world go round (for all the 'lil uns, that's the Earth's rotation). Learning Science and Mathematics in English is even better. You don't understand the pain of having to memorise the periodic table in Chinese and Malay before converting to English.

However, I personally don't see the point of feeding an 8-year-old with the knowledge of phantom forces. I mean, what's the use of such knowledge to them? So that they can blame gravity when they drop something (just like one of my friends)? Or stop pretending to act like Superman (or Batman, whatever) jumping off the desks?

In my opinion, they should be taught more realistic stuff that prove useful to them, and, at the same time, interesting enough to keep them glued to the encyclopaedias for the rest of their lives. Nutritions, for example, is surely useful, seeing the fact that most children are picky (including my own sister) when it comes to food. Or maybe the fact that the universe is such a gigantic place will stop them from bickering over small matters.

That's sort of ironic, actually. I was a curious boy (who wasn't?) and knew quite a lot about science from all the children's encyclopaedias featuring Mickey Mouse and Goofy. I've heard of numerous theories for the extinction of dinosaurs, how spiders cling on to the walls, how planes stay up, and also knew that it is possible to fry an egg on a rock under the midday sun. Now, how useful were those knowledge to me? Even the present day me can't make good use of those things. I mean, unless prices of gas skyrocket to, say, $150 per barrel drop, I won't be frying eggs under the hot sun for quite some time.

Anyway, it seems like children are getting smarter nowadays. It's no wonder the primary schools have problem recruiting teachers recently.


  1. LOL.

    Kiasu policy. It's just the norm.

    Lucky me, im kia sheng

  2. then you've got to be scared always. you're always the one winning lol

  3. omg i remember the frying egg on rock book!!

    aww nowadays i read nothin but words. lucky bio lots of interesting pics.

  4. lol...

    funny things we learned when we were younger, huh?

    you're in JC, so it depends on textbooks i guess. in colleges/unis, it depends on which books the lecturers use. some lecturers pick interesting books with a lot of colourful photos. some pick black and white books with only diagrams and graphs other than text.


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