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Instilling some scientific curiosity in child

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous in Parenting' started by Rihana, Feb 22, 2016.

  1. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    When scientists recently announced the first direct evidence of gravitational waves, which confirms some things Einstein had imagined on paper, it made headlines.

    Some people were truly excited and understood the significance, some knew it was a big scientific and human milestone but not really sure what, and some shrugged and said 'OK, next!"

    What can a parent do to instill some scientific curiosity in the child?

    Given today's resources such as internet, youtube, free virtual online labs, busy lifestyles, how science is (not much) explored in school, homework, afterschool clubs, summer camps, other activities, the time crunch families face:

    What are some small steps or habits parents can adopt at home so child develops a level of interest in science, and some curiosity and understanding about scientific stuff?
     
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  2. KashmirFlower

    KashmirFlower IL Hall of Fame

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    No experience or interest on this so far as my kid is so small, but
    may be doing small science experiments at home (using books or videos help) along with kid like creating rainbow with mirror, water and sunlight.
    I don't know yet how much in school they do science projects, if what is in their books we could work on those with kid.

    Taking them to planetariam, if big kids, gift them telescope, or get science magazines at home so they can go through and get interested in that stuff. U also show news whenever u know something interesting .

    Actually everything happening around is science, if we see with that aspect, we can explain and kids may get curious.
     
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  3. jskls

    jskls IL Hall of Fame

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    Good topic Rihana.

    I guess it depends on the child. Follow the child is what we were taught. One of the pre-school montessori teacher I respect told us, if you want to teach your child chemistry, cook/bake with them; if you want to teach your kid math look at everyday objects/geometrical shapes and make math fun. We followed the child religiously. we used to do some simple science experiments with the kid. We explained whatever we knew (little) in all the things that we saw around us. Like why do we see a rainbow or why is the sky blue or what is done to the swimming pool that the water turns blue and in the process touch physics concepts and so on. We didn't know all the answers but learning/reading science books with kids (especially DK ones) was fun. It happened that our older one became a curiosity kid. We were lucky to be part of a group that taught kids hands on science instead of theory or rote learning it was experiment based learning while in the process applied scientific enquiry and reasoning. We took kids to the aquarium, museums, observatories etc around the town. We always love to watch PBS NOVA science series. Participating in science olympiads, being part of science fair projects etc will help only if the kid is interested in science. We can guide them to some extent but beyond that it's their passion that they will continue.
     
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  4. SGBV

    SGBV IL Hall of Fame

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    My kids are too small to understand scientific experiments yet.

    However, I do incorporate science into whatever they believe. The science I teach them at home is not physical science. But environmental science, social science, biological science and also I connect certain amount of spirituality to the science with factual evidence.
     
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  5. JGVR

    JGVR Gold IL'ite

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    my kid is 5 years old.I talk to her about stars,planets,ask her questions based on surrounding like why ponds freeze in winter,what happens when you keep water on stove,what happens when you keep it in freezer,what happens to moon during day etc.I make sure to ask her questions based on house hold activities and answer them to her.Now she has grown a special interest in planets and knows all the planets name and wants to become an astronaut:wow
     
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  6. nuss

    nuss Finest Post Winner

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    I think it makes a difference that both of us (DH and I) are scientists so talking about science/ why/how/ is a normal talk in our house. As jskls mentioned, cooking/baking with kids is a very good way to explain a number of scientific principles- why use yeast/ baking soda? What happens to the bread if we don't use these? Even while making eggs- talk about yolk vs albumin- fat vs proteins. We ask our son (3 yr old) to pick out food from each food group for every meal so he understands the concept of carbs/ proteins/ dairy etc. During bath, what sinks/ what floats. Insects that we see on our walks etc. For scientific inclination, we don't need to set up experiments, just talk about everyday things and how the world around us work.
    Another thing that we din't think about doing but somehow my son just picked up watching us- public speaking. He likes to give "talks" i.e. he will pick a topic and give a 2-5 minutes talk and then would say- "any questions" or thanks for coming to my talk. It's so cute. He has been to several conferences with us and a few times to our lab meetings where he has seen people give a talk and answer the questions.
     
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  7. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Nuss, that is beyond cute! A 3-yr old giving a talk and then "any questions". :)
     
  8. anugamit

    anugamit Platinum IL'ite

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    Science is everything, in every little thing. My 6-year-old is quite annoying with his never-ending questions but I love his curiosity. He has more interest in stars, planets, universe, moons and I love to explain him everything. Like, what is earth made up of? What if we touch the magma inside it? What others planets are made up of? How many moons? Why earth has only one moon? What if our Sun explodes??........Gases, vacuum, meteors, gravitational force, light, speed, energy, rainbow, clouds, hurricane, dolphins, fishes, flowers, seasons, submarines, insects, etc. ....I can't list them all. He is too small to understand these things but he asks again and again and I love to explain him infinite times to kill his curiosity. I show him educational videos, google images, google maps. I have explained him even how he was born, how he was inside my tummy, how he was getting nutrition. Its fun jumping from one topic to another. Even I have learned many things by teaching him and it seems a long journey.

    Like Nuss said,
    @Nuss, Kudos to your such-a-small kid giving "talks."
     
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  9. anugamit

    anugamit Platinum IL'ite

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    And yes, I plan to gift him a telescope. But I am worried, if telescope can disturb his vision. If anyone can explain me please.

    Just yesterday, while he was playing mummy maze, he asked me why mummies are wrapped? Why they are in pyramids? And we explored through googlesmiley.
     
  10. nuss

    nuss Finest Post Winner

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    Thanks Rihana! Yes, it is. Even more interesting is his choice of topics, other day he gave a talk on 'Mariana Trench', before that was mosquito biology, most of the times it's cars or trucks though.
     

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