Making science fun

Finding a balance between playing and learning can be difficult, but Western Sydney University lecturer Dr Ragbir Bhathal thinks he may have found a way.
Nanjing Night Net

Dr Bhathal has made a submission to Campbelltown Council for a science playground as a part of the council’s play space strategy.

The proposed playground would feature equipment thatteaches children basic scientific principles of motion, balance, sound, sight and weather.

Dr Bhathal said this was an opportunity to help children have fun with science.

“We are calling it a classroom without walls,” he said.

“Kids can use the playground to learn more about science because it is very hands on.”

The recent Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS)found Australian students have flat-lined in science education results whereother countries have improved.

The study is conducted by theInternational Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement and measures the achievement of more than 630,000 students across the world.

“It can be a challenge to motivate children to learn,” Dr Bhathal said.

“Resources are lacking and teachers need to be provided with the right resources to help children learn.

“Schools could use this playground and create worksheets for children to do at the park.”

Science playgrounds have become a popular attraction in America and are slowly building traction in Europe.

Dr Bhathal said he was inspired by a science playground he saw while visiting America.

“When I was in America I saw a science playgroundthere and I watched a young girl explaining to her grandmother how a certain thing worked,” Dr Bhathal said.

“It is a great way for families to spend time together.

“The playground will allow parents, teachers and the council to help children learn in a fun way.”

If Campbelltown Council decides to take on the project Dr Bhathal said this playground would be the first of its kind in Australia.

“Campbelltown Council will be leading the way,” he said.

“Having local kids interested in science will be good for the whole community.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.