In the libraries of little girls and girls, among fairy tales and unicorns, books on science, astronomy and chemistry are finally beginning to be seen. As reported by Save The Children, today in Italy at the end of primary school girls obtain results in mathematics on average 4.5 points lower than their male peers: a disadvantage that rises to -6.1 points in the second year of high school and -9.8 in the last year. While among high achievers in science subjects, only 1 in 8 girls expect to work as an engineer or in scientific professions, compared with 1 in 4 among boys. Furthermore, only 16.5% of girls aged 25 to 34 graduate from STEM subjects. But how can we bridge this gender gap?
Playing with science is the simplest way to bring the little ones closer to this subject. All you need is imagination, desire to learn and curiosity, all characteristics that children have! So here are some easy experiments to do together. According to the psychologist Barbara Arfè there are no topics that are too difficult to deal with, it is rather necessary to translate them taking into account who is the interlocutor. You need to convey the arguments in a form that is rewarding and accessible to them.
We build the colors
This explains the phenomenon of absorption and the theory of colors. Take three tubs with water and each with a different primary color (red, blue and yellow). We tear off two fairly long strips of kitchen paper (4-5 tears) and fold them along the long side to form two long strips. We dip each end into a tray and the other into the other. In this way you will see the three colors rise along the stripes and in the center mix to form a new color.
Create the volcano
Fill a small bowl with baking soda mixed with red food coloring. Quickly add vinegar or lemon juice. This will create the volcano effect.
Creating the rain
Take a tall glass, some shaving cream, blue food coloring and a Pasteur pipette. Pour about 3/4 of the water into the glass, cover the remaining surface with shaving foam. In a small container pour blue colored water with the food coloring. Using the dropper, place blue drops in random order on the shaving cream. Wait a few minutes and here comes the rain!
Children love books before they even know how to read them. They leaf through them, play with them, look at the pictures and then begin to understand letters, words and whole sentences. We should think of science the same way. Let’s start buying some simple books, even just to browse. Figures always attract. And if they have boxes to open it’s even more fun.
Let’s start with the book on viruses, a term that children have certainly heard in recent months. How many times have they asked what a virus is? Here then “Virus. Don’t be afraid! Get to know me”. Through colorful drawings and simple and fun texts, this volume offers children a precious tool to tackle a topic that is more relevant than ever: viruses.
“But how many rays does the sun have? The adults answer the impossible questions of children”: the authors, with their stories, do not answer the usual practical questions, but the “impossible” questions, those generated by the children’s imagination.
“Science for the little ones. Lots of games and activities to train scientific and naturalistic intelligence. Inspired by the studies of Maria Montessori”: thanks to the games and experiments proposed in this activity book, we will approach different scientific disciplines such as botany , zoology, archeology, geology, astronomy … with lots of fun and method to satisfy our little one’s thirst for discovery.
“365 experiments for little scientists”: in addition to the answers, this book suggests many scientific activities and experiments to learn new things every day of the year
“Marie Curie. Little women, big dreams”: as a child Marie was born in a country where girls could not study. But she wanted to become a scientist, so she left for France. There were no professors at the University of Paris, but she managed to teach. A woman had never been given a Nobel Prize, but she was not only the first to receive it, she was also the first person ever to get two. And, thanks to his amazing discoveries, many serious diseases are still being treated today.