Learning the scientific method and all of the basic science facts is important, but the best way for kids to learn has always been through doing. Science experiments are often neglected in schools, but when they are used for learning, a lot of good can come of them. A science experiment can not only teach young students about geology, biology, or whatever else they are working on, but can also help them to understand the scientific method, and inspire a love of learning. And a love of learning, after all, is the most valuable tool a student can have. Learning to be inquisitive is central to being a good student and a knowledgeable adult.
When I was in school, I absolutely loved doing science fair experiments. I know that that fact marks me as a nerd, but I do not care. I would drop everything for an interesting science experiment. Whether it was learning to make a glider in middle school or testing various compounds on bean plants in high school, it was all fascinating to me.
As a matter of fact, with all of the science projects that I did as a kid, I used to think that I would be a scientist when I grew up. My interests ended up taking me in a much different direction later in life, but I still have kept up with the main discoveries in the sciences. I love to go to science expositions and fairs, read Scientific American, and experiment with electronic circuits in my basement.
Still, it is rewarding to me to help young people succeed in their science experiment. I volunteer as a mentor and after school tutor, and get to work on all kinds of projects. I even got to take a group of students to a national robotics championship last year, one of the most interesting experiences that I have had. Although I can not spend my full time doing science, I still get to inspire young people to enjoy it.
Of course, I do get to do some genuine scientific research every now and then. I am an avid and scientific gardener, and every year I try different things to get the best yield. My last science experiment with my tomatoes resulted in the best crop yet. I got an extra 3 tomatoes from every plant last year – not bad for a minor alteration in soil chemistry.