I’m very much a hands on learner – the times we did labs in different science classes were some of my favorite parts of school. (Science wasn’t a huge strength but being able to actually do and see what we were learning was really fun and helped a lot with my understanding of the concepts.)
That’s why I absolutely love places like the Pacific Science Center in Seattle and Mind Port Exhibits in Bellingham. Both places offer interactive exhibits and are so much fun to go through. I just really love being able to actually see how different concepts play out in real life – like how locks actually work, how tornadoes spin, the impact of climate change on Arctic Ice, among so many other things.
I know not everyone learns the same way but for me, the hands on approach definitely makes everything more interesting and easier to understand conceptually. I think the way the current mainstream education system is set up (at no fault of individual teachers) is inherently flawed in many ways, especially the intense focus on standardized testing. Not every student learns or tests the same – one student might excel at tests while another excels at the hands on labs not offered during many standardized tests.
Plus, there is an entire other level of classism and poverty to consider around education – not every student will have the same resources to excel. Fancy projects with flashy posters or graphics aren’t accessible to every single student and not everyone has access to a thriving and helpful support system.
Ultimately though, I really really think that the education system is inherently flawed because of budget cuts and national uniform policies. Everyone learns differently and with large class sizes, it can be easy for some to fall through the cracks. I love places like the Pacific Science Center that offer fun hands on learning opportunities outside of classrooms (but going can be rather expensive).