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Science education for youngsters

Dear Reader,

I took my two year old son to a science education centre today in Trollhattan in Sweden, he had a great time. But I noticed something. The centre had a vast number of physics and engineering experiments on offer, it had experiments on friction, transverse waves moving along a long spring, soap bubbles, mechanical experiments, energy conversion experiments (mechanical to electric to heat), optics, space rockets and toys such as marble runs but I could not find any chemistry experiments.

Also the experiments often had little explanation of why and how they worked, I would be more happy if the experiments each came with a short explanation of why and how they work. I think that while it would be a challenge to write an explanation of a physics experiment which a primary school child can understand it would possible and be a great addition to the experiments. I have a perfectly delightful home chemistry handbook from the 1940s, which sadly in common with many books aimed at the hobby chemist does not explain the theory of how and why the experiments work.

I think that chemistry has a scary and bad reputation which it does not deserve, the challenge is to dream up cheap and easy chemistry experiments which do not require hazardous reagents. I am sure that such experiments can be devised and put into action.


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