How to learn science? The best science class for kids in Hong Kong
Science education is crucial to every child’s development. It allows children to learn about the fascinating world arounds them through a scientific lens. In addition, it also instils scientific thinking skills which will help them solve real-world problems. With this in mind, how is science taught in schools in Hong Kong?
Science class in traditional Hong Kong schools
Minimal curriculum inclusion
For most, Chinese, English and Mathematics still take the spotlight of being core subjects of the curriculum, with the subject of science often loosely clumped with General Studies or disappearing altogether. Children then have very little exposure to learn about real life science, let alone conduct an experiment on their own.
Average education material
Students usually learn extensively from dull and uninteresting textbooks that only teach inapplicable, “hard” science facts. This makes learning science less exciting for children, driving them away from the subject altogether.
Limited direct exposure
Building upon the last point, since science is largely taught through textbooks, children have little to no chance to actually interact with science and conduct experiments. The lack of hands-on experience makes it hard for children to develop the important scientific thinking skills.
Spoon-fed, exam-driven learning
Since many schools only rely on exams to evaluate how much students have learnt, many children are subjected to repetitive drilling exercises that do not help them understand what is taught to them. It is difficult for children to truly understand, synthesis and apply scientific knowledge and scientific thinking skills through memorisations and spoon-feeding.
Alternative options for science classes
Tired of traditional-styled classes? Here are some accessible and commitment-free alternatives for your child to learn science!
1. Weekend workshops
Join fun, activity-based workshops on the weekend to learn science and spend quality time with your child!
2. Youtube videos
Visit youtube and access science education videos from creators all around the world! One good resource is Scishow Kids.
3. Field trips
Take a day off and take your child to the cool exhibitions in the science and space museums!
4. Science books
Go to the library or the book store and pick up some books to truly dive into the world of science!
5. Learn with Big Bang Academy!
Sign up for Big Bang Academy and receive the best science education for your child. We offer:
Here are 7 select criteria that you should consider before enrolling your child in that science class.
1. Is it exciting?
First and foremost, learning science should be fun, exciting and something your child looks forward to doing. If it’s the same pedagogy used at school where they just learn from textbooks and worksheets, then you’re not using your resources effectively. The best learning experience for your child should be when they enjoy their lesson and remember what they are taught. Besides, Isaac Newton was more inspired by apples than textbooks.
2. Are the teachers competent?
Although the academic qualifications of the teacher are important, what sets good teachers apart is their life experiences and passion towards the subject.
A teacher sharing about their experiences in the field of science makes all the difference in your child leaving the class feeling unmotivated versus feeling inspired. Moreover, the passion and excitement a teacher shows is also a fantastic way to assess how much enjoyment your child will get from the class.
3. How does the curriculum compare?
From an educator’s perspective, it is best to seek out curricula that is designed by qualified educations and are accredited by well-known science institutes (i.e. STEM.org).
Find a curriculum that is aligned to but not identical to your child’s school. This way, they’d be able to directly interact with the concepts they’ve been taught in class through experiments and get a better understanding.
4. Do they have small, level appropriate classes?
Let’s say that there are 20+ students in a class, the teachers are overwhelmed and your child’s questions get ignored and they lose interest and fall behind in the subject.
Having a small class size (4-5) is important because it allows teachers to tailor the class and cater to every child so that they get the most out of the class.
Moreover, small classes with children around the same age allows for peer learning, which is critical for early childhood development.
5. How do the teachers teach?
Instead of only being a passive listener in class, your child should have the chance to interact and discuss scientific concepts with their teachers.
Teachers should encourage your child to participate in discussions and experiments, inspiring them to become active learners. This is reverse classroom - your child could even lead the conversation with their teachers and develop critical scientific thinking skills!
6. Does it have a hands-on element?
The biggest difference between the science class in school and outside should be the inclusion of a hands-on element.
A hands-on approach allows children to exhibit their knowledge in a creative and imaginative way, not just on a dull worksheet. This interactive style of learning is highly impactful to your child and can inspire life-long learning.
7. Are the classes age appropriate?
It’s good to aim above and beyond, but getting too ahead of your child’s learning capability may be harmful to their interest and performance in that subject. The content your child is taught should be challenging but not too difficult, just enough to spark their curiosity and motivation to learn more.
Learning overly complex and abstract concepts at an early age may cause your child to feel confused and grow uninspired about the subject.
The Big Bang Academy Method
Here at Big Bang Academy, we practice what we preach and aim to create an exciting, hands-on science experience for children and transform them into curious life-long learners from a young age.
What do we teach?
At Big Bang Academy, our science curriculum consists of 6 main pillars that seamlessly align with and complement curricula around the world (such as HK, IB, NGSS (US), Cambridge Assessment Science, Singapore). These pillars include:
Our curriculum was carefully created by expert scientists, accredited by well-known science institutions and constantly updated to include the latest advancements in the science world.
Within these pillars, we also package them into unique story and adventure-based lessons, so that your child would be going on an exciting journey with our Chipmunk characters while learning abstract scientific concepts.
How do we teach?
At Big Bang Academy, we put a large emphasis on inspiring our students to keep learning wherever and whenever through guided learning and self directed learning (did I mention we have our own online learning platform – Big Bang Lab?). Our educators are from top universities around the world, intensively trained to deliver science education effectively and efficiently.
We recognise the Big Bang Principles as core concepts we want our students to learn and our teachers and curriculum to follow:
1. Scientific Thinking
Our students are encouraged to ask questions, test their hypothesis, make observations, recognise patterns and apply their findings into real-life scenarios. Our teachers are specially trained to guide students into pursuing this important mindset.
2. Growth Mindset
When something goes wrong, whether it be an incorrect hypothesis or a failed experiment, we encourage our students to recognise and learn from their mistakes, and continue to pursue their findings. Our teachers will encourage students and enable them to seek answers through dedication and hard work.
3. Making Science Approachable
What sets Big Bang Academy apart is our commitment to making science approachable and relatable to children. Through hands-on experiments, we show children that science is something that they can do very easily with their own hands! Our teachers also teach topics that are relevant to the times so children understand that science is just another part of their lives!
4. Hybrid (Online to Offline) Learning
We believe that through hybrid learning, our students would receive the most effective and motivating learning experience. Our teachers connect exciting and interactive offline experiments and activities with our very own online learning platform Big Bang Lab, specially designed to provide your child with an enjoyable time learning science through studio-level cartoon/animations, anytime and anywhere.
We believe that through leading by example, we can become our students’ role models and shape them into self-motivated and curious learners.
Other unique features of our classes
Aside from the Big Bang Principles, we also utilise a handful of other practices to ensure that your child and your child receive the most immersive and effective science education!
We provide personalised teacher feedback to your child after every lesson to make sure that you, parents, are up-to-date with what your child has learnt and their performance in class.
Our curriculum is designed to enrich your child’s knowledge in a certain topic in a progressive manner. In other words, what we’ve taught in each lesson will be brought up in later lessons to make learning new concepts easier!
Interested to know more about childhood science education? Schedule a time with us through Whatsapp!
🤔 Wait...before you go...
What is science?
In short, science is the study of the world around us. We mean EVERYTHING! Scientists learn by observing, making hypotheses and designing experiments!
Why is learning science important?
Learning science helps kids develop 3 key skills: ability to communicate, making informed choices from observation and computational thinking. These are skills valued in every career.
What do science classes for beginners look like?
It should be exciting! We want beginners to feel the excitement and joy when learning science.
What do advanced science classes look like?
With more basic knowledge under their belt, we can layer more difficult topics such as engineering and physics. These topics often involve multidisciplinary science topics.
Big Bang Academy is an accredited science EdTech startup. Founded in early 2020, we started with a workshop of 15 students and a dream. Ever since, we have grown to serve 3,000+ students in both a lesson setting and our very own online education platform, Big Bang Lab.
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