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Fermilab's Batavia site is currently closed to the general public.

 
  As a precautionary measure related to COVID-19, the entire Fermilab site in Batavia is closed to the general public. This includes all tours, events, activities, classes, buildings, as well as access to the walking/bicycling paths. All public events and tours are cancelled or postponed through the end of April. Updates will be posted on this page. We appreciate your understanding.

Additional information on Fermilab's precautions regarding COVID-19 is located at: www.fnal.gov/covid19

 
     

Experience Science at Home with Fermilab!

Resources for Families and Educators during this time of transition:

Edutainment? Home Schooling? Learning science (STEM) together is not simply games and arts and crafts, and it does not take the place of formal learning such as school science curriculum, but learning science together is important, natural and so much fun! You do not need to be an educator to enjoy learning science through the eyes of a young person. You do not need expensive supplies or extensive knowledge, just a sense of wonder, curiosity, and at times some patience and persistence. Rewards can be long-lasting!

There are many authoritative sources and research about the topic of doing science at home and how children learn science; we share a few of them below. And there are more online activity resources than one can effectively sort through! We are sharing a brief guide with some background information for you so you can dive into exploring science at home.

We can certainly all appreciate how difficult it is to teach children about a future world we do not fully understand. What is most important for children to learn? They need (we all need) to know how to continue to learn and solve problems. Children need to develop the skills of creative thinking, sharing and communicating ideas, and collaboration—working together. These are Twenty-First Century Learning Skills. STEM provides endless opportunities for children to develop these skills both for their personal life and for formal education.

As we grow and learn about our world, we develop a set of ideas based on our surroundings and those with whom we associate. All of our environment and contact with people teach us something that becomes part of who we are and what we expect out of life. We can broaden our thinking—that's how we all grow. Use your surroundings and your culture to explore your world and then broaden your thinking about it. Set a home environment that supports the children in your life to use science to learn about their world.

An environment for learning:
  • Let the children take the lead; help them be persistent through a task or problem.
  • Talk with the children; ask them questions. Show them how you are thinking about something and encourage them to do the same with their thinking.
  • Be willing to say "I don't know—let's find out!"
  • Be ready for science moments—watch for science opportunities everywhere throughout your day and through your hobbies.
  • Take advantage of culture and context in everyday STEM.
  • See the possibilities with a positive, can-do, me-too attitude.

So ... what now? How can you organize a series of activities that progresses through a topic of science? For children in grades 3–8 you can use these lessons following the BSCS Science 5E Instructional Model. We will provide three weeks of physical and three weeks of life science learning.

Here is a chart (Coming soon!) that outlines each mini lesson and provides an example of lessons you can do at home or in school.

You can also make a virtual visit to the Lederman Science Center.


More tips for families: Additional activity resource sites: