Friday, February 28, 2014

Science Learning through a Child's Eyes, Part II

This week we continue Science Learning through a Child's Eyes with a focus on older chilren. As children grow, science exploration and learning offers new adventures. Children  begin to master one concept only to start exploring the next. In other words, they begin to explore similar concepts in a different way.

Preschoolers tend to center on only one property of an object. For instance, exploring rocks may be about size or shape or color, but rarely about all three attributes. The preschooler's developing language allows her to share ideas and approach problems cooperatively. You can support the preschooler's curiosity by providing short explanations that extend learning opportunities. Try adding a challenge at the end of your explanation. "That rock is shiny when you shine the light on it. Let's try another rock to see if that one shines too."

The early school-age child prefers to solve problems alone or with her peers. The budding scientist is still curious and is more capable of experimentation and increasingly challenging problems. The rock exploration may now be about exploring weight or adding incline planes for experimentation about inertia and momentum as the rocks slide down.

Engaging science learning can be a lot of fun at home or at the Museum. Visit this blog next week when we share Finding the Science in Play--science right here at DuPage Children's Museum!

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