"Science is simply the word we use to describe a method of organising our curiousity." -Tim Minchin

Curious minds lead to innovative inventions. A feeding of that curiosity for today's youths is necessary to continue making the world a better place for years to come.

The UK, and practically all countries around the globe, need deep-thinkers and diligent researchers to tackle issues that can be solved by putting science into practice.

Therefore, since 2002, there has been a worldwide event that is held every year to help people recognise the importance of science & tech. That day is known as World Science Day for Peace and Development. In today's article, we shall discuss the purpose and meaning of establishing a day dedicated to science and how educators can introduce science-based activities to secondary and primary school students. Let's get reading!

What is World Science Day All About?

As is the case with many things, World Science Day was the brainchild of many hardworking individuals who developed the idea of creating an international science event to raise awareness for scientific topics. But how did it all come about?

new york city UN building
UNESCO, which is part of the United Nations, established World Science Day for Peace in Development in 2002. (Source: Unsplash)

Well, for starters, the intrigue and urgency of creating a day in the calendar year dedicated to science came about at the 1999 World Conference for Science in Budapest, Hungary. In attendance were many delegates from countries across the six inhabited continents that brought up the idea of a yearly celebration of science & tech.

The organisation, UNESCO, who also had members present at the 1999 conference, firmly took to heart the suggestions of establishing a day once a year to revere the developments of science. Therefore, at a UNESCO meeting that is held twice per year, the idea of a "science day" was well-received and became known as the "World Science Day for Peace and Development."

After much consideration and suggestions from the scientific bodies of member states, UNESCO established at their General Conference in November 2001 the World Science Day for Peace and Development that would be observed every year on November 10, starting in 2002.

And, while it's all fine and dandy to establish yet another worldwide event, what is World Science Day all about and why should you care about it? A fair question indeed!

World Science Day was developed and put in place to increase consciousness of the ever-increasing need for science and technology in today's world. UNESCO has highlighted November 10 as a way to strengthen the following causes:

  • To fortify awareness of the critical role that science plays to establish peaceful and sustainable communities across the globe,
  • Promoting or establishing either a national or an international agreement between countries that are fellow member states to invest in scientific causes,
  • Renew the worldwide commitment between nations for the use of science to build better countries,
  • Address the obstacles that many are facing with studying science and increase academic support to aid learners to understand the purpose of science.

It is essential to state that World Science Day is not a niche holiday that is only for a select few, such as scientists and researchers. Instead, UNESCO has the purpose of making sure that everyone knows about World Science Day and can participate in community events.

Schools, educators, organisations, and businesses worldwide are encouraged to take part in World Science Day and create activities that all parties can thoroughly enjoy. Such as? Read the following subheadings to find out about science-based activities tailormade for primary and secondary students on World Science Day!

Secondary School Activities for World Science Day

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Before graduation, it is important that educators instil a curiosity for science & tech in high schoolers. (Source: Unsplash)

As a result of World Science Day, more and more people across the UK and the world are developing a fundamental appreciation for science and technology and the role it plays in our modern era.

However, like all essential things in life, there is still much work to be done to continue to inspire young generations about science-based disciplines. For instance, secondary school students are the nation's future, and they need to be lead in the right direction to enable a society that cares about science and technology to make our sick planet a better place.

So, to make World Science Day an event to remember during the formative years of secondary school, educators and school boards must work hard to establish engaging activities that instil a love for science. Such as? The following are some suggested projects and ideas for science teachers who have the immense privilege of instructing high school students on World Science Day:

  • Field Trips: like literally everyone on the planet, secondary school students love to go on field trips. And, World Science Day is a great excuse to get out of the classroom and explore some of the best science centres and museums that the UK has to offer. We recommend that teachers dedicate at least half a day or a full day at the museum, depending on the distance from the school, to enjoy the science-based exhibits fully. Some science venues in the UK that are likely to pique the interest of teens are the Science Museum London, the National Space Centre in Leicester, and the History of Science Museum in Oxford.
  • Interviewing a Science Pro: although some of your students might admire you and take your suggestions to heart, the majority of them might view you as a broken record for your constant praises of science & tech. What's the solution to get high schoolers involved? Bring in a working professional that specialises in a field of the sciences. Why? Having someone who works in the sciences and who speaks passionately about the advantages of a career in science and technology inspires teens to consider studying a science-based topic at university.
  • Conduct Science Experiments: when practised in a hands-on and engaging manner, science can be extremely entertaining. Therefore, to make World Science Day an event to remember, perform scientific experiments with your students at the school lab. Educators should discuss ahead with their teens what they would like to do for an investigation and use that feedback to plan and get the materials needed to complete the lab analysis. Some experiment suggestions include creating a bottle rocket, the coke and mentos explosion, and fabricating a homemade phone speaker.
  • Have a Class Science Fair: teens are competitive and like to win, so why not program a science fair on November 10 and offer prizes to the winners? Science fairs force high school students to investigate a scientific subject and, along the way, acquire an appreciation for science and technology. Have your pupils present their information in front of others.
  • Science-Based Movie Day: instead of always actively learning more about a subject, adolescents enjoy acquiring knowledge in a passive way, such as watching movies. So, choose a science-based film or documentary and view it as part of the World Science Day program. We suggest watching The Bill Nye Film, An Inconvenient Truth, March of the Penguins or Hidden Figures. 

And, while all of the previously stated activities are brilliant, engaging, and worthy of special attention, teachers must remember to hone their teaching abilities to introduce a new subject in a compelling way to teenagers. Educators need to encourage suggestions, make class time fun, talk to adolescents like adults and not children and remember not to sweat the small stuff. By doing so, all new activities will be a smashing success for World Science Day!

Primary School Activities for International Science Day for Peace and Development

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Elementary school children all over the world should be participating in World Science Day events. (Source: Unsplash)

Children are heaps of fun and pretty much ecstatic to try any new project or activity in the traditional classroom. Nonetheless, that doesn't mean that educators should be calm about their planning for World Science Day, knowing that whatever they decide to do will be successful. Instead, preparation and diligent effort are required to instil in children a love for science & technology at a young age.

However, there is no need to fret if you're a primary school teacher who is out of ideas for World Science Day because we've got you covered! The following are some fantastic activity suggestions that can be done on November 10 to get schoolchildren involved in the sciences:

  • Drawings: there is no surprise to the fact that children love drawing beautiful illustrations; it's a creative way for them to express themselves. Therefore, for World Science Day educators should give their elementary-level students the homework assignment of drawing a picture of what science means to them and then on November 10 have them present their illustration in front of the class.
  • Field Trips: youngsters love going to new places to explore unseen things; therefore, it is very wise for elementary school educators to plan frequent field trips. Use World Science Day as an excuse to go on a field trip to a science centre or museum near you in the UK. Although now because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it's virtually impossible to bring a group of children to a public space, teachers should plan field trips for the following years at UK-based science places. Some highly recommended areas include We the Curious, The Science Museum London, Aberdeen Science Centre, and Techniquest Cardiff, to name a few.
  • Games: playing fun games about science will get even the most jaded students excited about science and technology. So, educators should carefully prepare and select versatile science-based games for World Science Day. We remarkably suggest choosing a few online games, outdoor exploration activities, and homemade science games that you can make yourself.
  • Science Experiments: some of the most memorable experiences had in science class are the ones spent at labs doing scientific investigations. On World Science Day, educators should schedule a time to complete science experiments with their primary school students. Some fun experiments that are suitable for children include creating a lava lamp, making a volcano eruption, jello lenses, and squishy turkeys.

If a passion and appreciation for science and technology is developed at a young age, the future slowly starts to look like a better place. Therefore, it's fundamental that primary school students actively participate in World Science Day and that educators introduce all of the previously mentioned projects in the traditional UK classroom.

In conclusion, we sincerely hope that the information provided in today's article has risen sufficient awareness of participating in World Science Day in the United Kingdom and around the world. Don't forget to mark November 10 in your calendar to celebrate the importance of science & tech for years to come. Happy World Science Day, everyone!

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Krishna