Saturday, July 31, 2010

Why is the sky blue? and why do some parents not know?

Just a third of parents regularly talk to their children about how science works in everyday life. That's according to a survey conducted by the Shell Education Service (part of the well known oil company).

The press release for the survey describes it as "only a third of parents" discussing science with their kids. Frankly, I think thats pretty good going - I mean, what child wants to "regularly" discuss science with their parents!

A huge 99% of parents surveyed on the parenting website Mumsnet said they recognised that talking to their children about science makes a "massive" difference to their progress at school.

During the survey, parents were asked a series of science questions to measure their science know-how. The questions included: 'how does a cruise ship float?' and 'why do your fingers go wrinkly in the bath?'

Over half (52%) of parents answered all these questions correctly.

Shell say that a lack of confidence is behind parents reluctance to discuss science with their children citing excuses including feeling under-qualified due to poor grades at school (18%), not understanding science (15%) and a lack of available information (12%).

The survey also identified the questions which parents most dread being asked by their kids. The top five are:

Why is the sky blue? (29%)
Why does the car work? (21%)
Why can birds fly? (15%)
What is water made of? (10%)
How do fish breathe? (9%)

Shell have launched a booklet for parents and children which includes some fun experiments to try at home including growing your own crystals, creating a home version of the spin dryer (I know, how bizarre!) and building an explosive soft drink fountain.

James Smith, Chairman of Shell UK, said: "It's great news that parents can do more to help their children learn science than they realised. And learning science by trying out experiments is fun for children and their parents.”
You can download the Shell Activate booklet here (pdf).

So, why is the sky blue? You can find out here and find out what a Co. Carlow man had to do with it!


  © Communicate Science; Blogger template 'Isolation' by 2012

Back to TOP