In our lives, we all have had moments of sudden insight or inspiration called ‘Eureka’ moments. And, these moments have redefined our lives. But have we ever given a thought about the origins of the term-Eureka moment?
The royal court of Hieron hired an inventor to measure the weight of gold in the king’s crown. One day, when he was in his bath, the inventor had a moment of insight that the buoyancy of a submerged object is equal to the weight of the liquid displaced. Excited, the inventor ran naked on the streets shouting Eureka! Eureka! The naked man is none other than the famous Greek inventor and mathematician Archimedes. This discovery came to be known as the Theory of Buoyancy.
What we can take from Archimedes’ story is his innate curiosity to understand nature and the world around him. Albert Einstein once said: “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” Curiosity encourages us to explore our world better by asking questions. This quest to understand the world broadens our knowledge. In the realm of science lies a reservoir of knowledge. Today, as we celebrate the National Science Day, let’s explore four innovative methods that will ignite our curiosity, nudge us to question, and help us understand the world of science better.
National Science Day marks the discovery of ‘Raman Effect’ by Nobel Prize-winning Physicist Sir CV Raman.
Connect with Science Visually: A study conducted by Forrester Research shows that one-minute video lesson equates to 1.8 million written words! This means a student can understand science concepts better through interactive videos than textbooks. Watching videos and animations not only help students in learning but also keep their attention. So, in a short time, a student can learn many concepts without memorizing them.
Break the ‘big words’ into smaller ones: Many students find it difficult to wrap their heads around complex terminologies in science. But there’s a way to simplify them. Research indicates that we remember long words better when we break them down into smaller bits and associate meaning to them. For instance, the thermometer is an 11-lettered complex word to remember. But when we break the word into two simple words-thermo (relating to heat) and meter (meaning measure), we can easily understand the meaning and remember the word.
Take the Practical Route More Often: Everything around is rooted in science. Be it plants, animals, stars, forests, etc. The best way to understand any natural phenomena is by its practical applications. Research studies reveal that we can learn better, if we observe, ask questions, smell or touch, and experiment. Practical activities enhance critical thinking skills and encourage the habit of asking questions. It’s important to put theoretical knowledge into practical use when learning concepts in subjects like biology and physics.
Celebrate your Mistakes: As children, when we learned to pedal, we all made plenty of mistakes. But we did not stop there. We learned from our mistakes, picked our cycles, wiped our tears and learned to ride. Don’t refrain from making mistakes or asking questions even if you don’t know the answer. Some of the inventions like the microwave oven, penicillin, x-ray machine, and even potato chips are the outcomes of someone’s mistake.
If there’s one habit as students we could all inculcate, it would be to be curious, to ask questions, and understand what is happening around us. This would open a world of possibilities. This National Science Day, let’s learn something new every day.
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