Low-income minority fourth-graders from south L.A. improved their test scores in math and language after they got just a handful of science lessons, a new study found. College students studying science presented 10 separate one-hour lessons, and the kids rose up whole percentile ranks in other subjects.
“A lot of students say things like, ‘I didn’t know science was fun,'” said Samantha Gizerian, now a clinical assistant professor at Washington State University. Apparently they also showed a greater interest in taking books home to read, and a greater willingness to practice math. The lessons were simple, too–in one case, a college student just brought in some microscope slides from his lab.
Gizerian says the lessons taught science, but also acted “as a spark to ignite a child’s interest in lifelong learning in all areas.” She presented her findings at a recent Society for Neuroscience meeting.