There is a different quality of understanding when a youngster learns through experience instead of through the memorization of principles discovered by previous scientists. This is true of all subjects and particularly powerful in the arena of science. In Waldorf schools, phenomenologically demonstrated science is the norm. Experiments are presented and middle-schoolers and high schoolers are asked to think, after close observation, about what might be happening in a given, physical event or demonstration. Skills of observation and of clear-thinking result and new discoveries tend to sink more deeply into young people's understanding. Here is a book that describes how to teach in this way, and how to comprehend phenomena so that demonstrations have this goal of discovery for all students. Building on volumes and I & II by the same author, for sixth and seventh graders, this third volume leads students to comprehend electromagnetism and hydraulics through experimentation. Building an electric motor is a common practice in grade 8 in Waldorf Schools — a motor that can light a bulb or spin a paper clip is a thrilling accomplishment and sets the young mind to pondering what conductivity, metal, and electricity can achieve. This is a clear and simple presentation of a thrilling way to develop in young hearts and minds deep curiosity about how the world works, sharp capacities for observing how things operate, and abilities in clear thinking.
Manfred von Makensen was a Waldorf science teacher for decades, teaching both students and aspiring teachers in Germany. After many years of Waldorf science teaching in elementary grades and high school, Manfred von Makensen developed skilled techniques for preparing teachers for science teaching. He has written books about Waldorf science teaching and his passing in 2015 marked a significant loss for the Waldorf school movement worldwide. Von Mackensen developed a new quality of language for pursuing keen observation as a basis for good scientific comprehension. His work has unlocked creativity for many teachers.