6 resources to help you explore science with your daughters

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

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Recently, while making dinner and trying to recover from the blow my youngest daughter had delivered before I started cooking when she told me “what if you’re really bad at making dinner?” I hear noise upstairs.

Parents know noises happen all the time. Often these noises are nothing, but oftener they are an indication that something bad is going on. Sometimes, though, the noises result in magic:

So, our four-year-old walks into room, a huge smile on her face.

“Dad, want to see how I did science?”

This same four-year-old proceeds to pull a baby bottle out from behind her back. In the bottle is greenish water with a few bubbles on the top. She holds it up proudly, staring at me as she does so. Does she expect me to know what it is? Am I supposed to know what it is? Is this something we’ve done before? I really don’t know.

“Wow,” I say, unsure but hopeful that telling her I’m impressed will mean I’m not awful.

“Yeah, I know. I used the green toothpaste. I poured it in the bottle and then added water and I stirred it up for a minute. And look at all the bubbles.

It’s science.

I’m going to go do more!”

And the four-year-old runs back upstairs, an undone Snow White dress trailing behind her as she goes.

This folks, is what it means to me to be a dad to two completely awesome and smart little girls.

Green Toothpaste in a sink

Now, I don’t know a whole lot about Science. In high school I stopped taking Science courses as soon as I was allowed to. Those courses I did take, I learned in French and I haven’t used the French I learned very often since I finished high school.

But, as a dad with two girls who often want to put together science experiments, I love the idea of learning with them.

But where to start?! There are so many resources out there to help parents support their daughters and their interest in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math). Here are a few of my favourites that can be used just about every day. We even have a couple of these in our house and I can guarantee you they get plenty of use.

Yellow Scope Science Kit for girls

This comes with enough chalk and dyes and citric acid as your daughter could ever ask for. They also provide step-by-step instructions to help you and them get through the experiments without any trouble. It also provides space to write out the steps you took during your experiment, what you learned and what you’d do next time.

Girl busy doing science

11 Experiments that Failed

I think one of the things about my daughters showing an interest in Science is my own lack of knowledge. Even at the age of 37, I’m afraid of not knowing what to do. This book for kids (and people like me) is a look at how the process of experimenting is as valuable as the experiments. And that there’s fun to be had in failure.

Oh, No! (Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World)

A funny look at the world of science fairs (which we have not yet entered with her kids but which I remember building at magnet as when I was younger) and the amazingly smart kids who compete at them.

Mike Adamick’s Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments

These books are great for rainy days where you have a bunch of time and a bunch of random stuff in your house and two young girls asking to “do science.” There are a variety of experiments in here, varying from super easy for a 37-year-old to do all the way up to “oh my god, if she can do this she can fly a spaceship.” A super cool bonus is once you’ve done the changing flower petal project you’ll have a bunch of cool flowers all over your house.

Girls pose with multi-coloured flowers

Budding STEM

Of course, if you have a rising science star, they’ll need to dress the part. Budding STEM has a few different lines, from dresses to leggings and t-shirts, for the young girl who wants to wear spaceship clothing at all times.

Women in Science wall art

Adorn their walls (and yours) with some of the most amazing contributions made to science by men or women. There’s a nearly infinite amount of great art out there.

Kalpana Chawla women in science

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