Children are scientists from the moment they are born, using their senses to observe and gain knowledge about the world around them. – RIELDS
Many adults feel that they aren’t “good at” science or that it is “too hard.” Not true! Children are naturally curious about the world. Anyone who has spent time with a young child has heard the question “Why? Why? Why?” Help foster that curiosity by turning them into scientists.
Let children experiment and find out “what happens if…?”
Give them room to explore and find the answers. Ask silly questions and do an investigation to find out what will happen next. Take notes and organize the data (this also teaches literacy and math skills!).
Dr. Day Care North Providence students recently did experiments about ice. They used different materials to have a race to melt the ice. This was a great hand-on, visual way to find out what happens.
Here is what they found:
“The cup of warm water melted the ice first – even though it was the biggest piece of ice! We learned that hands were the next fastest, followed by the paper towel, and blowing/breathing. We talked about how all the items that had some warmth to pass onto the ice helped to melt it the fastest. All of our classmates that had objects that didn’t pass along any heat had a tough time getting their ice to melt, it was a much slower process. The class all took turns being able to melt ice with both kinds of materials so that they could see first-hand the different rates of melting!”
There are so many different things you can teach with “icy science.” Here are some of the RI early learning standards that children should know or be able to do in science that they are learning with this experiment:
- Provide simple descriptions of objects based on observations
- Ask questions about the world around them
- Make simple predictions and plans to carry out investigations
- Use a variety of tools to gather information and observe processes and relationships
- Observe and identify natural materials
- Compare and contrast properties of physical objects
- Investigate the properties of natural elements and provide simple descriptions
And so much more!
We love this video by astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson on how to keep kids interested in science. Don’t ask how to get kids interested- “they’re already interested in science!”
An adult scientist is a kid who never grew up. That’s what an adult scientist does.
For more tips on what children should know and be able to do by certain ages and also for fun family activities, check out www.rields.com