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10 Tips for Science Class Success (page 2)

10 Tips for Science Class Success

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Updated on Sep 3, 2013

Investigate Multiple Sources

After a lecture that’s interesting (or confusing), it’s enlightening to seek out further information at home. The Internet is an incredible source of cutting-edge information and images. You can easily supplement your understanding with a couple of Yahoo searches.

Collect Visual Aids

A lot of science involves memorization, and it’s helpful to see visual prompts at home. From shower curtains with the periodic table of the elements to placemats that show the solar system, placing study aids around the house can be a huge help. You can also customize your studying by making a poster that highlights the facts you’ll need for your next test.

Figure Out “Why”

The human brain can only memorize so much. To facilitate understanding, it’s important to see how things fit together and to think of concrete examples. For instance, picturing the firing of a cannon can help us remember Newton’s Third Law (Whenever one object exerts a force on a second object, the second object exerts an equal and opposite force on the first.) A cannon is bigger than a cannonball, so the firing pushes the ball far away. But the ball exerts its own force on the cannon, making the cannon recoil a few inches.

Hone Your Math Skills

Science class depends on a solid understanding of how to do word problems: when to add or subtract, multiply or divide. Most students are able to collect numbers from their experiments, but have a harder time knowing what to do with those numbers. You should never try to waive the prerequisite math class for any given science course. Specifically, advanced science classes rely heavily on a solid understanding of algebra.

Be Familiar with the Metric System

Science uses metric measurements, which can be confusing for American students. Families can help by talking about metric units together. When you’re driving, convert from miles per hour to kilometers per hour (it’s in the dashboard.) Talk about centimeters and millimeters in addition to inches, and how much you’d all weigh in kilograms instead of pounds. When you go to the market, compare the size of liter bottles with gallons.

Have the Right Tools

Science relies on having good equipment. Buy whatever supplies the teacher requires. If there’s no list, a basic science supply list should include: colored pencils, a non-programmable calculator, metric ruler, and a small pair of scissors. 

Understanding science is critical in our technology-driven world. By following these tips, your student can maximize his chances of not only getting a good grade, but of understanding the concepts that will give him a better understanding of the natural world.

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