You Already Think Like a Scientist
by Kate Shapero, Science Teacher
In the beginning of the school year, I spoke with a parent of a child in our nursery class. She excitedly asked me “When are you going to start doing experiments with the kids?” She described her son’s recent obsession with creating kitchen concoctions and leaving them in the refrigerator with explicit directions not to throw out his “experiments.” She seemed hopeful that we would soon explore exciting reactions, things that fizz and change color, as well as more methodical approaches to his mixing madness.
We will do all of these things in time. Mostly, because I now know that he’s interested in them. But not because they are the most essential part of conducting experiments. Meaningful experimentation requires one main ingredient–a downright thirsty need to know more. Fancy equipment and potentially explosive reactions may be useful tools, but they are only a means to an end. To help yourself or your child really think scientifically, spend time talking about what you’d like to understand better, what would make your daily life easier, or what information you think might be helpful to others. Continue reading.