Avon- NY September 23, 2019: Aldon Corporation is already known around the world for supplying chemicals, custom formulations and educational kits to schools, labs and companies. Now, Aldon has expanded its commitment to helping students through their Hands-On Innovating Science Kits.
Hands-on learning is an essential part of school science curriculums. When students engage in hands-on science, they are able to learn by doing, rather than solely by reading or listening. Being able to experiment and explore ideas encourages critical and independent thinking and can increase students’ motivation and confidence in the classroom. Many studies have shown that incorporating hands-on activities can lead to improvements in student performance as well as higher retention rates of material. For example, in 1996, Prof. Stohr-Hunt from the University of Richmond reported that students who participated in hands-on activities at least once per week scored higher on a standardized test than those who participated once per month or less. More recently, in 2015, Prof. Sian Beilock and co-workers from the University of Chicago found that when students actively participated in an activity in their physics class, certain sensory and motor-related parts of the brain were activated, and higher quiz scores were achieved compared to students who only observed the activity. Through these studies, it is clear that hands-on science is extremely beneficial for students.
Many organizations, such as the Hands-On Science Partnership (HOSP), are pushing for more hands-on experiences to be included in science classrooms. HOSP works with teachers and companies to make hands-on science more available to schools and is an advocate for improvements to STEM education. As a member of HOSP, we understand the value of hands-on activities, and have developed over 200 education kits to make incorporating hands-on experiments easier for teachers. Our Innovating Science kits cover a wide variety of material, ranging from core subjects such as chemistry and biology to newer fields such as nanotechnology and biomedical engineering. By engaging in these activities, students can improve their critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, and learn how to draw conclusions based on evidence and data they have observed. Many of our education kits reinforce these ideas by posing a challenge to students at the end, where they are able to take what they have learned and engineer a solution to create items such as a thermometer (IS3454: Make Your Own Liquid Crystal Thermometer) or contact lens (IS3402: Engineer and Explore Different Biomaterials to Make Your Own Contact Lenses). Completing these activities also gives students an idea of what it’s like to be a scientist or engineer and can inspire them to pursue a STEM career in the future.