WHIPPANY, N.J., Sept. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Results of the 2016 Bayer Making Science Make Sense® initiative Back-to-School Survey released today reveals that parents can do more to nurture their children's innate interest in science by leveraging everyday activities, such a cooking, doing the laundry, or exploring in the backyard, as science lessons for the family.
Key insights from the 2016 survey include:
- Science is the number one subject kids are interested in outside of the classroom. Only 24 percent of parents say they find it difficult to encourage their children to stay interested in science outside the classroom.
- Despite a high level of interest in science, parents provide extracurricular activities for English and math more often. Only one-in-10 (11%) parents provide extracurricular science opportunities for their kids on a daily basis, compared to 38 percent for English and 19 percent for math. More than half (56%) of parents say they provide extracurricular science activities only once a week or less, compared to 26 percent for English and 42 percent for math.
- Nine-out-of-10 (91%) parents agree that their children perform better in school when they encourage them to stay interested in subjects outside of the classroom and that their kids enjoy school more when they take an interest in what their kids are learning. Further, nearly all (97%) of parents say it is important to expose their child to learning activities outside the classroom.
- The most popular extracurricular science activities parents provide for their kids include taking them to the museum (61%), encouraging them to read science books (54%) and watching science-oriented TV shows (53%). However, far fewer parents (39%) demonstrate the science behind everyday activities.
- Parents say their top source of ideas for keeping their children interested in science are blogs and websites (49%), and nearly a third (32%) are inspired by the science behind everyday activities.
- The survey also revealed that nearly all (95%) parents agree that it would be helpful to have tips for turning simple activities into science learning opportunities for their children.
The survey assesses extracurricular learning opportunities provided by parents outside of the classroom. These survey results further validate results from Bayer's 2015 Facts of Science Education Survey that found teachers and parents agree that more hands-on, experiential learning must be adopted in order to improve science education for future generations.
The 2016 Back-to-School Survey also found that parents say science is the number one school subject that children are interested in outside of the classroom. Despite this, parents who offered their children extracurricular activities in school subjects on a daily basis did so much more often in the subjects of English and math rather than in science.
"The survey highlights that parents understand the importance of at-home activities to bolster their children's in-school success. And, that parents are willing to provide these activities. This year's survey is consistent with past Bayer Facts of Science Education surveys—science is kids' favorite subject, science is best learned through hands-on activities, and what parents do matters," said Dr. Mae Jemison, chief ambassador for Bayer's Making Science Make Sense initiative and the first African-American woman astronaut. "Students start to build key skills needed for careers early. Science literacy is fundamental not just for STEM jobs, but for success in the vast majority of jobs today and in the future. By doing simple science at home with their kids —from growing plants, to baking, to sky gazing or building a telescope—parents can capitalize on and sustain students' early interest in science. It helps students see science as something they can do!"
Parents agree that children perform better in school when they show an interest in what they are learning and encourage them to stay interested in subjects outside of the classroom. For parents who are providing extracurricular activities for their children in science, they are doing so by taking their children to museums or providing them with science related books; much less often do they demonstrate the science behind everyday activities. There is an opportunity for parents to turn every-day activities into a simple science lesson for their children.
"At Bayer, we know how busy parents are, and we want to make it as easy as possible for them to engage in science activities with their children without taking time out of their everyday plans to do so," said Sarah Toulouse, Head of U.S. Corporate Social Responsibility for Bayer. "Fundamentals of science exist in many of our daily at-home activities – in the kitchen, the backyard and even the laundry room. We want to help parents uncover these science-filled moments and leverage them as teaching moments for the family."
Bayer's Making Science Make Sense® initiative is sharing these tips for teaching science with easy, fun and everyday examples at home, including: turning bread baking into a delicious lesson in how yeast works; turning tending to a vegetable garden into a lesson in backyard ecosystems; and teaching the science behind shimmery make-up colors.
For more than 20 years, Making Science Make Sense has built a legacy of elevating science literacy across the U.S. One of the program's most notable accomplishments has been spearheading elementary school science education reform in seven communities by creating new models that fundamentally change how science is taught. Since 1995, Bayer has also helped advance science learning nationwide for tens of thousands of teachers and hundreds of thousands of students through a combination of strategic partnerships and employee volunteerism.
To learn more about Bayer and the Making Science Make Sense initiative, follow The Beaker Life blog, like the Facebook page, or follow on Twitter or Instagram. To receive the full list of results from the 2016 Bayer Making Science Make Sense® initiative Back-to-School Survey, email [email protected].
METHODOLOGY: The 2016 Bayer Making Science Make Sense initiative Back-to-School Survey presents the findings of an online survey conducted by ORC International from August 9-14, 2016 among a sample of 1,003 U.S. parents of children ages 6-11. The margin of error for a sample of this size is ± 3% at a 95% level of confidence.
About Bayer Corporation and Making Science Make Sense®
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2015, the Group employed around 117,000 people and had sales of EUR 46.3 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.6 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.3 billion. These figures include those for the high-tech polymers business, which was floated on the stock market as an independent company named Covestro on October 6, 2015. For more information, go to www.bayer.us.
Making Science Make Sense® (MSMS) is Bayer's company-wide initiative that advances science literacy through hands-on, inquiry-based science education, employee volunteerism and public education. For more information, go to www.MakingScienceMakeSense.com.
SOURCE Bayer Corporation