What to Teach Your Children About Molecular Biology
Microbiology is a complex subject for any age group, even the most sophisticated adults. However, the subject is important and relates to our everyday lives. The overwhelming nature of microbiology can have lasting deterrent effects on learning. Children should be encouraged to understand this subject and it’s impact on ourselves and our environment.
The subject of microbiology is particularly difficult for young learners, yet especially relevant. Topics like immunology, cell biology, DNA, RNA, and genetics, define our bodies and environment at every moment. Understanding these concepts early on will help children recognize the impact, as well as make the information more accessible to them later. A simple bare-bones approach can make this host of information digestible for a young mind.
Young children – especially toddler and elementary age – should be exposed to the inter-workings of their surroundings on a micro-level. Parents, teachers, and mentors should go on walks and get them to observe the elements of their environment. Encourage them to point out small details like insects, pebbles, or lines on a leaf can help them better grasp the complexities of size and scale related to microbiology.
Introduce small children to cells, molecules, and microbes in terms and explanations on their level of comprehension, so that they can understand how they relate to the concepts of germs, hygiene, and overall cleanliness. Children may feel the effects of a fever or common cold, but, be easily confused by immunology and bacteria. These topics can be combined using analogies that present the information in a fun interesting way. For example, the cells that fight fever can be described as a tiny little army of icy dots that cool off the fever, which is the big bad fiery flame.
Engage and empower children to investigate the physical terrain of their humanity. Children respond well to the gratification of getting answers. Visual aids like pictures, books, and games inspire them to explore the world of microbiology. Pointing out hair and eye color, along with other everyday human characteristics, will help them understand topics like genetics and DNA. Distinguishing themselves from plants and animals will help them to develop a more sophisticated mind and sense of self.
Many people shy away from topics within the world of microbiology because of how confounding they were for them early in life. This discouragement can have lasting effects on their health and self care, causing them to become disconnected from their bodies and their surroundings. This disconnect can cause people to make decisions that lack insight, which could result in a drastic impact on whole communities or even the world. Subjects like public health and pollution will be better understood when taught microbiology, starting at a young age.