Saturday 20 May 2017

5 Ways To Encourage A Love Of Space

The idea of space is somewhat terrifying, nothing makes me feel more insignificant than looking up at a star full of skies and realising just how small I am. I am scared of the deepness of the sea, but space is a whole other kettle of fish. It’s just so big. Too big. So big I can’t even begin to comprehend it. But, I want to encourage Ebony to enjoy science and so I’ve been thinking of ways we can learn more about space together. I don’t want her to be one of the many girls who, by the time they leave primary school, have already given up all hope of ever conquering maths or science. I don’t want her to be limited by her gender. I don’t want her to conform to society’s view that science is for boys.

So, I have been plotting ways to get her enthralled in science. She loves learning about how the human body works, she’s fascinated by animals and she really likes ‘making potions’ (these are, almost always, 99% my fancy conditioner). Here are a few of the ways I am, or wish I was, trying to get her into space (har har har):

1. Star gazing
This is more difficult now that it’s summer and the evenings are light, but in winter we spent a lot of time gazing up at the stars. On our way home from a party or wherever we had been, we would both glance up and look at the stars above us. I tried (and probably failed) to show her the constellations and she showed by “Jesus’ star”. It’s camping season now, so I’m hoping I’ll get to show her the stars as we walk to the toilet block late at night before bed. The starry sky is so beautiful, it’s one of my favourite sights.

2. Star bathing
This isn’t something we’ve been doing, it’s something I can only dream of doing. One day. One day! It is my life’s dream to one day have a house with a loft bathroom. This sounds like a weird dream but hear me out. I would love to be able to lie in a bath and gaze up at the stars through a big roof window, I think it would be about the most perfect thing that could happen to anybody. Wouldn’t that be a great way to get your kids interested in space/have the best baths ever? Tip: on the website of Solstro you can find more tips for choosing a roof window.

3. Jodrell Bank
I haven’t been to Jodrell Bank since I was a kid, but it’s on the list of places I’m hoping to take Ebony this year. I was hoping we’d get to go to the Blue Dot Festival there last year but I was way too pregnant and grumpy to attend a science festival at 37 weeks pregnant. Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre is a great place to learn all about space.

4. A trip to Iceland
This trip is planned, booked and paid for but only in my mind. I think it’s something we should do while Ebony is young enough to still love running around in the cold, though I’d like to wait until Ember is old enough to chase after her. I’ve never seen the Northern Lights and I want to so badly, so that’s my main motivation for wanting to visit Iceland. I’d love to show Ebony the Northern Lights which I’m pretty sure are in or near space.

5. Stop getting confused
I have noticed that the most important thing I can do to foster Ebony’s interest in science is to not confuse myself. This is easier said than done. She once asked me why people don’t live on Mars. Aha, I answered smugly, that is because Mars is way too hot. When I recounted the story to Laurie later he looked visibly pained. I have since had to correct my answer by explaining that, actually, Mars isn’t the M planet next to the sun, that’s Mercury. And that is probably why you should remember things by letters if there are two words that begin with the same letter.

This is a collaborative post.

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