STEM is the latest term for Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics education. High-quality stem instruction depends on exploration, hands-on experiences, and scientific inquiry. Research continues to show how essential STEM is for all ages as our lives depend on all aspects of math, technology, engineering, and science.
For your tiniest scientists, it doesn’t take much to create a science lab in your own house! The TX Education Department advocates that best practice for parents and educators involve creating simple opportunities for exploration and discovery: the foundations to formal science education. Don’t limit yourself to the Science Museum or elaborate experiments; Nature walks, talking about the weather, playing with toy magnifying glasses or science kits, mixing paint colors, playing with sink/float toys in the tub, and cooking all support your scientist’s development. Check out the science section of your local crafts store for easy to do kits for volcanoes and more. Shows like the Storybots and Sid the Science Kid entertain and provide a great springboard for scientific discussions and activities. My 2.5 year old had a STEM-filled blast this morning with this simple color mixing activity. Brush light corn syrup on posterboard and drop a few different colors of food coloring in it (a little goes a long way!). Let your child explore color mixing by swirling, drawing, and finger-painting the syrup. We talked about what colors we mixed, what new colors we made and the texture of the “paint”. (I learned this the hard way- the end result is beautiful and appears to be fairly dry right away. Make sure it is completely dry (probably overnight is best) before displaying unless you particularly enjoy cleaning up colored corn syrup off the fridge and floor. You’re welcome!)
If your children are craving more science then they currently experience at school (or you’re craving it for them), Mad Science is the place to look! I know the elementary students I tutor are always wishing to get their hands on more experiments and more science exploration. With less and less time allotted for science in the average school day, Mad Science is able to fill that gap for eager students and parents. With the goal of scientific literacy intertwined with a whole lot of fun, Mad Science offers STEM-filled birthday parties, holiday/summer camps, preschool/elementary school enrichment classes, after-school workshop.
Children will definitely have a blast learning science in experiences which provide scientific exploration, education and also support Texas’ educational goals for elementary students. When you’re looking for activities that will support your students’ interests and is something that will be an invaluable compliment to your child’s science education, Mad Science is worth a call. I had the opportunity to view a five year old’s birthday party at their location this weekend. The Mad Scientist captivated the children’s attention with a magic trick and then jumped into the science lesson saying, “Magic is just magic until we find out how it works- then it’s science!”. In one party, the Mad Scientist put on a witty and educational scientific show with about 8 water, fire, light and explosion-filled experiments and 1 gooey experiment that the children each got to make and bring home. The Mad Scientist kept all children engaged and entertained with very little down time while teaching science vocabulary, science safety, and showing them the experiments.
What ages does Mad Science cater to? Currently, they have programs designed primarily for K-5th graders as well as some programs for preschoolers ages 3-5. (At my house, we can’t wait to see if they eventually offer options for even smaller scientists ages 0-2!)
The best parts: Camps and after-school workshops fills multiple needs and wants for busy parents- childcare, learning, and fun all wrapped up in one experience. Your child will get to experience all of the slime, goo and explosions without any mess at your house! Parents will appreciate that all of the Mad Scientists (AKA instructors) are background checked. We were super impressed by the simple online registration for parents and teachers as well as their mission statement published on the website, “to spark the curiosity of children everywhere by providing fun, interactive and educational activities that instill a clear understanding of science and how it affects the world around them.”
The takeaway: I honestly think any child would be ecstatic to have a Mad Science birthday party, attend one of the workshops and/or camps! The only issue I saw would be that kids aren’t going to want to leave! Large-scale experiments and certainly multiple experiments for multiple children can definitely be a challenge to replicate at home- they are definitely providing something that is hard for your child to get anywhere else. We attend our local library storytimes and special events and I plan on recommending Mad Science as a future educational family event.
Ms. Alluri, VP of Mad Science recommended the monthly Friday Night Workshops for anyone with children ages 3-12. $15 buys dinner, a night filled with science exploration and a take home project. I think a workshop would be a great way to experience a little taste of Mad Science and all they have to offer! Upcoming workshops on 1/20/17, 2/17/17, 3/17/17, 4/28/17, and 5/19/17. Check the website for upcoming spring break and summer camp options!
Mad Science might be the perfect program for your child if:
– they asked for a microscope or chemistry set for Christmas
– they watch Sid the Science Kid on a never-ending loop
– they love all things gooey, gross, slimy, messy, crazy
– they love asking why and how things work
-AND/OR they just love having fun and you love watching seeing their eyes light up when they learn something new!
By Mary West
About me: Mama, wife, daughter, sister, teacher/tutor. I love playing and learning with my daughters, coffee, and binge-watching Netflix after 8 ‘o’clock! I dislike long lines and messes.