Science is becoming more colorful and entertaining for 160 children at Izmir University of Economics (IUE). Kindergarten and elementary school students are developing creative thinking, problem-solving skills with the “Düşlerle Bilim (Imaginative Science)” project. 80 preschool and 80 elementary school students from Izmir are both enjoying their summer holiday as they are being acquainted with science and art under the supervision of expert trainers.
Ezgi Oral, Lecturer at Child Development Program, IUE Vocational School of Health Services, is coordinating the project, which was accepted within the TUBITAK Nature Education and Science Schools (4004) Call. Prof. Dr. İlgi Şemin, Director of IUE Vocational School of Health Sciences, and Lecturers Songül Yasemin Özgün, Türkan Alkan Özbay, Hasan Durmuş, Alihan Bulgurcu, Esra Feyzioğlu Demir, Kardem Ulaş, Fatma Betül Özkul Cura, and Asst. Prof. Seçkin Eroğlu are also taking part as trainers in the project. The project is being co-supported by Karşıyaka Guidance and Research Center and Izmir Metropolitan Municipality IZELMAN AŞ. Kindergartens.
Lecturer Oral reported that the training courses were taking place at specially designed classrooms on campus. Oral said, “This project aims to introduce science to individuals at early childhood period, and contribute to their scientific thinking process via creative thinking and problem-solving skills. We can see that the activities we carry out trigger further interest in children and motivate them to learn science. Children, who are creative thinkers, inquisitive and curious, function better cognitively. Science is a very significant tool in supporting such skills in children. Therefore, we prepared an education program that integrated activities which develop science and creativity”.
'Field trips, observations, experiments'
Oral stated that the activities as part of the training program included art, drama, plays, field trips and observations on campus ground, group studies, and experiments. Oral said, “Children understand science better when they get a chance to experience it in real life. When integrated with art, drama, and games, science becomes more enjoyable to learn. Imaginative science will open them new horizons”.