The Importance of Learning Science: Teaching Strategies for Today’s Educators (2024)

Learn how to be more effective in the classroom by earning a graduate certificate in science.

It’s not always obvious that science shapes our daily lives, but the fact is, it impacts countless decisions we make each day—from managing our health and well-being to choosing paper over plastic at the grocery store. More than ever, educators need to employ student engagement strategies that inspire and prepare children to embrace science and potentially pursue it in their college and career choices.

Science is the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical, social, and natural worlds through observation and experimentation. It’s key to innovation, global competitiveness, and human advancement. It’s important that the world continues to advance the field of science, whether it’s finding new cures for cancer and other diseases or identifying and exploring new galaxies.

The Importance of Learning Science: Teaching Strategies for Today’s Educators (1)

The Value of Learning Science

Beyond the potential scientific breakthroughs, there are individual benefits to learning science, such as developing our ability to ask questions, collect information, organize and test our ideas, solve problems, and apply what we learn. Further, science offers a powerful platform for building confidence, developing communication skills, and making sense of the world around us—a world that is increasingly shaped by science and technology.

Science also involves a lot of communication with other people and develops patience and perseverance in children. The quest to find answers to their countless “why” questions pushes children to research and form their own opinions. While it’s easy to go along with another child’s answer or pull out a smartphone to do a quick internet search, a healthy dose of skepticism can take children further as they explore the world around them and tackle some of its challenging questions.

Teaching Strategies for Educators

There is an increasing need for scientists, engineers, and innovators. America’s future depends on the nation’s educators using hands-on and minds-on student engagement strategies to make science interesting, exciting, and inspiring.

Of the role teachers should play, science teacher Melyssa Ferro, a Walden University graduate and 2016 Idaho Teacher of the Year, says, “In this day of instant and global information access, it has become increasingly important for science educators to help students develop science process skills instead of focusing solely on the memorization of a body of facts. Science should be a verb instead of a noun.” Teaching strategies that science educators use to promote student engagement include hands-on experiments, collaborative learning, gamification, and project-based learning. Learn about these and others below:

Hands-on experiments

Students can work in small groups or on their own in the classroom to conduct experiments that answer a clear question. The teacher acts as a facilitator while the students conduct the experiment. Students get to experience what it’s like to be a scientist, learning about the scientific method while also discovering the scientific principles the experiment is designed to demonstrate. A quick internet search will yield hundreds of experiments that use simple materials educators may already have on hand.

Inquiry-based learning

In inquiry-based learning, students observe, investigate, and discover to gain knowledge. Hands-on experiments are a type of inquiry-based learning. Other examples include:

  1. Self-directed curriculum: Educators provide a topic, and students learn about an aspect of that topic.

  2. Construction activities: The teacher provides materials to students, and the students create something. For example, a teacher can provide materials like cardboard tubes, straws, and tape that students can use to construct marble runs.

  3. Mystery solving: A teacher creates a scene or provides before-and-after images of a scene and asks students what they think happened.1

Using technology in the classroom

Technology can help gain students’ interest, keep them engaged, and increase their participation in activities. Utilizing technology in a science lesson can be as simple as using an app. For instance, Plum’s Creaturizers allows kids to create a unique creature, complete creature missions, and take photos of their creature in nature. While having fun, kids will think about how their creatures eat, where they live, and how they defend themselves.2

Other examples of using technology in the classroom include:

  • Introducing kids to coding with Arduino kits.
  • Using digital microscopes to take a close look at everything from flowers to newspapers.
  • Creating items with a 3D printer.

Collaborative learning

When two or more students work together on a task or to reach a goal, that is collaborative learning. In this student engagement strategy, the science teacher guides the learning process, and the students build knowledge together by sharing information and ideas. An example of collaborative learning is to have students work in groups on human body systems, like organs. Each group studies a different organ and then presents its findings to the rest of the class.3


Gamification is the process of using game mechanics and elements in education. Examples include creating a points system where students can redeem points for classroom rewards, incorporating role-playing and storytelling, and creating quests or challenges that students can choose to complete.

Field trips

Taking students on a field trip to a science center is a great way for them to learn something new in an interactive setting. Students may have so much fun that they don’t even realize they’re learning! If there isn’t a science center nearby or the budget doesn’t allow for it, simply getting students out of the classroom and into a new setting can provide a science learning opportunity. Here are five inexpensive science field trip examples:

  1. Learn about water purification at a local water treatment plant.

  2. Explore botany and agriculture at a community garden.

  3. Visit a beach, river, or lake to study ecosystems, geology, and water conservation.

  4. Explore a nature reserve to learn about wildlife, plants, and ecology.

  5. Discover the tools used to study weather patterns at a local weather station.

Project-based learning

In project-based learning, students investigate and respond to a complex real-world question or problem. Because the problem is complex, students need an extended period of time to work on it. During the process, they gain valuable skills and knowledge while also exercising critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills.4 Here are three examples of project-based learning:

  • Students propose solutions to a community problem. They can even vote to choose a solution and implement it.

  • A classroom plants a garden. The students research crops, plan and plant the garden, care for the plants, harvest, and even sell what they’ve grown.

  • Students work in groups to develop their own app.

The consensus among students and educators is that science should be fun to learn and teach. Teachers who use effective student engagement strategies can enjoy teaching science as much as students enjoy learning science.

“Engaging students in science content requires educators to help students see themselves as scientists and engineers instead of passively observing other people doing the work of science,” Ferro says. “It is about creating opportunities for them to see science in application instead of just reading about it in a textbook.” Complex textbooks are important to have, but if young learners can’t grasp the information and educators aren’t effectively teaching the content, then it limits students’ chances for success.

One way to learn how to master science and make it interesting for students is to earn an MS in Education (MSEd) with a specialization in Science. For those who already have a graduate degree but wish to refine their skills, a Graduate Certificate in Science is a great option. Specifically, an online certificate program can help educators who wish to continue teaching while learning about the latest issues in science and science education, and allow them to apply the information immediately to their classroom.

Walden University, an accredited institution, offers an online Graduate Certificate in Science K–8 where educators can become an active participant in the scientific process as they explore unifying themes in environmental science, ecology, and the physical universe, as well as critical social concerns surrounding genetic engineering, biotechnology, and the environment. The graduate certificate allows educators to discover how to create exciting learning experiences for K–8 students by applying the tools of scientific inquiry while underscoring a growing emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.

Having a quality foundation in scientific principles and a blueprint for delivering engaging lesson plans that are easy to understand can be incredibly impactful. Educators armed with new and different strategies and techniques for teaching science can plant the seeds for future scientists who could do amazing things for society and the world.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering an online MS in Education program with a specialization in Science (Grades K–8) and an online Graduate Certificate in Science K–8. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.


Walden University’s Richard W. Riley College of Education and Human Sciences is accredited based on the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Standards through June 2026. This accreditation covers specific Walden initial teacher and advanced educator preparation programs, including the BS in Elementary Education, Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) – Special Education specialization, MS in Education – Educational Leadership and Administration specialization, and EdS in Educational Leadership and Administration. The MAT-SPED, MSED-ELA, and EdS-ELA programs were reviewed by Specialized Professional Associations (SPAs), which define content-area standards for programs, and achieved national recognition.

CAEP promotes excellence in educator preparation through quality assurance and continuous improvement. Walden’s College of Education and Human Sciences has earned national accreditation by demonstrating excellence in the areas of content and pedagogy, clinical experiences, selectivity, program impact, and capacity for continuous improvement. CAEP is a Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)-recognized national accreditor for educator preparation.

Note on Teacher Licensure or Certification
The only MS in Education Specialization offered by Walden that is state-approved as leading to any educational license or certification is the MS in Education, Educational Leadership and Administration (Principal Licensure Program), which has been approved in Ohio for leading to Building Level Principal Licensure (grades PK–6, grades 4–9, and grades 5–12). No other MS in Education Specialization will lead to teacher licensure or certification. Teachers are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether this program may qualify for salary advancement.

Walden University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission,

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Science and its Impact on Daily Life

Science is the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical, social, and natural worlds through observation and experimentation. It plays a crucial role in shaping our daily lives and impacts countless decisions we make, from managing our health and well-being to choosing between paper and plastic at the grocery store .

Benefits of Learning Science

Learning science offers several individual benefits. It helps develop skills such as asking questions, collecting information, organizing and testing ideas, problem-solving, and applying knowledge. Science also builds confidence, communication skills, and helps make sense of the world around us, which is increasingly shaped by science and technology.

Teaching Strategies for Science Educators

To inspire and engage students in science, educators can use various teaching strategies. Some effective strategies include:

  1. Hands-on experiments: Students conduct experiments to answer questions, learn about the scientific method, and discover scientific principles. Teachers act as facilitators.
  2. Inquiry-based learning: Students observe, investigate, and discover knowledge. It includes self-directed curriculum, construction activities, and mystery solving.
  3. Using technology in the classroom: Technology can enhance student engagement and participation. Examples include using educational apps, introducing coding with Arduino kits, using digital microscopes, and 3D printing.
  4. Collaborative learning: Students work together in groups to share information and ideas, fostering knowledge building. Teachers guide the learning process.
  5. Gamification: Incorporating game mechanics and elements in education, such as points systems, role-playing, and quests, can increase student engagement.
  6. Field trips: Taking students to science centers or other interactive settings provides hands-on learning experiences. If budget constraints exist, exploring local resources like water treatment plants, community gardens, beaches, or nature reserves can also offer science learning opportunities.
  7. Project-based learning: Students investigate and respond to real-world questions or problems, developing critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills. Examples include proposing solutions to community problems, planting a garden, or developing an app.

Graduate Certificate in Science

The article mentions that earning a graduate certificate in science can help educators refine their skills and learn about the latest issues in science education. Walden University offers an online Graduate Certificate in Science K–8, which allows educators to explore unifying themes in environmental science, ecology, and the physical universe. The program emphasizes scientific inquiry and STEM education, enabling educators to create exciting learning experiences for K–8 students.

Please note that the information provided here is based on the content you shared and the search results available.

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