I reconnected with Liz to talk about her exciting new venture.
The Maker Mom: First, a little history. When and why did you start your blog?
Liz: I started the KitchenPantryScientist blog back in 2009. After writing a kids activity blog for a local retailer, I realized that although there were a number of fantastic craft sites for kids, it was hard to find science experiments that were safe for young children and could be done with household items. My website is based on the idea that if you make science easy for parents, they are more likely to do it at home with their kids.
TMM: What’s encouraging in terms of science (or STEM- Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education in our public schools?
Liz: My oldest is eleven, and our school district doesn’t start implementing STEM coursework until middle school, but it sound like STEM has made a real difference here. Our district recently changed the curriculum so that students take physics first, to lay the groundwork for chemistry and biology. “As a result of these curriculum changes, the District has seen a jump in the number of students taking regular and advanced math and science courses. Norlin-Weaver also credits this rise in interest to the implementation of Project Lead the Way in sixth grade to allow for continuous, rigorous STEM coursework from middle through high school.”
TMM: What’s discouraging about it?
Liz: It’s discouraging that STEM is not a part of the curriculum of all grade schools. It’s important to spark kids’ interest and literacy in science early.
TMM: So tell me about the app. Why'd you create it?
Liz: The idea behind KidScience app is to make it easy for parents, grandparents, babysitters, and older kids to do science experiments any time or anywhere using what’s on hand. It’s set up like a recipe app, so you can search for experiments based on ingredients you have, scientist’s age (2-92), time available, or science type.
Simple recipes, combined with photos and watch-and-do videos, make science easy for everyone. Explanations of the science behind the fun are included with each project, and new experiments are added regularly.
The KidScience Premium app is available on the iTunes App Store for $4.99(USD) or you can download a free version of KidScience that contains the same experiments, with limited initial free videos. Additional videos are available for purchase with the free version for $.99 (USD) each, and when you download five, your app is automatically unlocked to download all current and future videos for free.
I dreamed up KidScience app about two years ago and CS Web Concepts and Design agreed to co-create it with me. It hit the App Store this summer, with two versions available.
TMM: What’s your best tip to develop science-loving kids?
Liz: As parents, we don’t have to have all the answers, but we have an opportunity to foster our kids’ natural curiosity and creativity.
- Encourage them to ask questions.
- Ask them questions.
- Be a role model by wondering out-loud.
- When they ask why, throw the question back at them, even if you know the answer.
- Play twenty questions.
TMM: Parents who lack a science, tech or engineering background sometimes get concerned that they don't know enough to foster a love of those areas, but I think you provide great tips for us all. Good luck with you app!
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