Think back to your childhood. What was your favorite memory or experience about science? What sparked your interest? How were these experiences created?
One of my favorite childhood memories about science was watching The Magic School Bus. I wish I had a teacher as cool as Ms. Frizzle to make science fun. Although Ms. Frizzle is a character from the cartoon The Magic School Bus, there are many opportunities you can use to create curiosity for science exploration with your students in a school environment.
Research shows there are many benefits to exposing children to science. Interacting with many different materials in early childhood prepares students for science later in school. Children can use and develop other important skills, including working with one another, basic large- and small-motor control, language, and early mathematical understanding.
The following are ways to support children with science exploration:
1. Discovery and sensory learning- When children are able to use their senses to discover, learning is embedded in personal experiences made through various sounds, visuals, textures, tastes, and scents.
2. Problem solving- Inquiry and investigation of the function of objects can introduce problem solving opportunities for chlidren to explore.
3. Awareness of community helpers in science, technology, math, and engineering- Exposing children to math and science community helpers presents children the advantage of real connections and seeing these practices in their community.
4. Social emotional development- Science exploration affords students opportunities for problem solving, teamwork, and ownership of inventiveness which support social growth and development in children.
5. Exploration of science tools- What science tools can be introduced in your classroom? Children can use a variety of materials to explore weight, length, and volume.mSimple objects such as scales and magnifying glasses are a few of the many tools you can use with children during science exploration.
6. Record observations- With initial teacher support, students will be able to make connections between tracking data and recording their observations during science exploration.
Department of education: Let's Talk, Read and Sing about STEM Tips for preschool teachers and providers
Worth (2010) Science In Early Childhood Classrooms: Content and Process
Moomaw, S. (2013). Teaching STEM in the early years: activities for integrating science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. St. Paul, MN: Redleaf Press.