"Messing about in science" is a way of saying explore, experience, and discover.
|Students learn about viscoelastic material behavior, such as strain rate dependence and creep, with silly putty.|
|Students learn about limiting reactants and mole ratios with microscale rockets.|
It is the role of the adult to guide the student's critical thinking, provide penetrating questions, and guard against the activity deteriorating into simple play. It's important to know when and how to intervene and when to allow the students space. "Messing about" lays the foundation for later learning while hooking the student with authentic experiences.