Science Experiments for High School Students: Investigating the Pendulum – Lissajous Patterns

science experiment

Science experiments for high school students sometimes come under fire. Wouldn’t the students’ time in class be better spent reading a textbook for the final test?

The simple answer to this question is NO, and in this post I’ll make the case for having as many science practicals as possible.

Check out more about our GED International Program

Read GED FAQs here

Students learn in different ways

As a teacher it is tempting to teach the way that is most convenient. Usually this means the way that causes the least amount of planning and hassle in our already busy day.

The fact is that students learn in many different ways including visual, tactile, auditory and kinesthetic. 

With people learning in so many different ways, teachers need to make sure their lessons offer something to everyone. 

Science experiments for high school students are an amazing way for a teacher to achieve their goal.

Benefits of hands on science experiments for tactile and kinesthetic learners

Both tactile and kinesthetic learners need movement to learn best. Thus, hands on science experiments are perfect as students need to move around and interact with others. Can you imagine how bored these learners would be if they simply sat and listened to a lecture? It would be torture for them and they wouldn’t get as much form the lesson as a auditory or visual learner. For these social learners the time they spend talking in small groups will strengthen their confidence, content knowledge and communication skills.

Science experiments require trial and error

Hands on science experiments show students the gaps that exist between theory and practice. This is an important skill to learn for life as students have to accept failure, re-group and find another way to solve the problem. This teaches kids patience and resilience. Also, what could be a better life lesson for young people than learning from their mistakes? Practical science experiments for high school students are the perfect way to teach students about the power of trial and error and how they can achieve their goal if they persevere with a determined mindset.

Teach students to think like scientists

We feel it is important for science students to see themselves not as merely receivers of scientific facts. Often textbook learning forces a kid to sit in his chair and listen to teacher and then make notes. Perhaps a little discussion takes place in groups and then the science lesson ends. Students become obsessed with getting higest score in the upcoming test and recoil into a world of rote learning. We avoid this at all costs. Incorporating hands on science experiments for students, ones with value and purpose, encourage young people to think the same way as a professional scientist. Sure, the planning, execution and write up are graded to the level, but the experiment by experiment, students rapidly grow in confidence and think of science in practical terms. This means by the end of high school, kids will have had real experience in the lab and not just read about experiments in their coursebooks.

Does this mean textbooks are dead in the science classroom?

Just because you enable your students to do one or two experiments per week doesn’t mean it’s time to throw their textbooks in the bin. Far from it. They need to be coupled with close reading, extended writing activities and everything else that goes into a solid science curriculum.

That said, science teachers should always reflect on the frequency and purpose of their experiments so that all learner types can benefit. 

A quality science course will always consist of a healthy combination of theory and practice.

As my favorite story writer said a long time ago:

‘Knowledge is of no value unless you out it into practice’

– Anton Chekov

Recent Posts

Phuket’s only
Authorized GED
Testing Service Partner

+66 (0) 954 297 791

+66 (0) 93 732 7888