There are many reasons to love physics. It is an essential part of our life, one that governs the way things behave and interact. Understanding physics principles also help humans in developing a lot of the technologies we enjoy today. For this reason, physics is an important subject to learn about. However, there are also many people who find it difficult to enjoy learning physics. This may be due to the heavy mathematics involved in studying physics, or the rote way of learning that they’ve been exposed to in school.
But that shouldn’t be that case! An interest in a subject cannot be forced, but it can be nurtured. This will also make it easier for the learner to study the subject when required to. Below, we offer some suggestions for what you can do to encourage a student’s interest in physics.
For students who don’t like to read or study, giving them a thick physics book and expecting them to learn from it isn’t going to work. If they don’t already have any interest in physics, asking them to sit down and watch hours after hours of physics lectures isn’t going to work, either.
For a start, you need to capitalise on their own curiosities. If they one day ask any physics-related questions, you can then link it back to physics concepts and show them how physics is so important, relevant, and interesting! For example, they may one day ask a question like ‘how far is the star from earth?’ – and you can then interest them in how astrophysicists use principles of light and wavelengths to estimate distances that we cannot physically measure.
Rather than directly getting a student to study physics theories and formulae, you can whet their appetite for physics in other memorable ways. Take them out to the science centre to have them marvel at the awe-inspiring exhibits, or try out some physics experiments right at home. There is a wealth of resources online and in libraries that you and your child can tap on to find exciting ideas for science experiments. Not only will these activities be exciting and become precious memories of time spent together, but they are also a good way to subtly weave in physics learning.
When you run out of ideas, you can also count on external providers to offer some great educational activities for your child. There is a multitude of science camps and enrichment activities for students that pique interest in physics through hands-on experiential learning. A good physics tuition class can also be very beneficial, especially if they take advantage of real-life (add title tag to hyperlink -“How To Make Use Of Real-Life Applications To Learn Physics”) demonstrations to impart key concepts.
Perhaps the student isn’t too into the hard science of physics. But maybe you can interest them with stories instead. Physics as a subject is filled with many wonderful stories of how man discovered how things of the world work. You can tell your child about how Sir Isaac Newton contemplated the notion of gravity upon seeing an apple fall from the tree he was under. Another story to tell is of Archimedes and how he wondered about buoyancy while in the bathtub. These stories are so inspiring precisely because these great scientists and discoveries all began with small, everyday situations. Physics doesn’t have to feel so unwieldy or complicated – it is everywhere, and everyone can be a scientist in their own little way.
Try out these methods to get your child interested in physics! When you find that they start to engage with the subject more, you will find it all worth it. Perhaps, it is not that they were bad or disinterested in physics, but that no one has shown them the true wonderment of learning physics yet.