Stimulate Your Child’s Curiosity

Science Room

Science Room

pic_sci_egg“When engaged in what looks like child’s play, preschoolers are actually behaving like scientists, according to a new report in the journal of science” -Scientific Inquiry Among the Preschool Set by: Sindya N. Bhanoo, NY Times Oct 1, 2012.

The inspiration for the creation of the Science Room came from Debra’s life-long interest in and love of science and the natural world. The original concept and basic curriculum is that of a hands on children’s science museum, a place where science can be presented to young children in a welcoming atmosphere; where exploration, observation and discovery are encouraged.

The Science Room is an expanded learning center with an emphasis on collections such as: fossils, shells, coral, rocks, minerals, bird nests, beaver wood, fish, insects, emu and ostrich eggs, bones, a human skeleton, a 200 million year old shark tooth, a dinosaur egg-shell, a meteorite, and a dinosaur egg from China (featured in National Geographic in 1996.) In addition, we have a wealth of science activities and books, tools, materials and Science Theme Curriculum, including: Dinosaurs, Space, Oceans, Insects and Bugs, and Plants and Animals.

sunflowersunflowerpreschool_lr-4355The Science Room offers a variety of activities and experiences that is developmentally appropriate. Teaching developmentally appropriate science includes the idea of “utilizing the child’s early learning experiences that are personally relevant to the child, then expanding out to wider ideas.” (Elkind, 1988.)

pic_cse_scienceartWe relate subject matter to the child’s daily experiences to explain more complicated theories. For example, during our lesson on meteorites we explain that meteorites get hot when entering the earth’s atmosphere. Many meteorites burn up before they fall to earth and/or glow on their way down. This idea can be easily explained to children by simple friction. Each child rubs their hands together until they get warmer and warmer. Now the discussion can lead to the concept of friction with air heating up meteorites until they glow.

Children are natural scientists, and science has always been a part of the curriculum at Sunflower.
 The children are free to direct their own learning and choose activities appropriate to their own needs and developmental level. Because of this, the children are always learning something new based on their own experiences. This constant learning is fun to see as children who stay at Sunflower for years are still fascinated and happily involved in the Science Room.

“If we want to have great scientists, letting preschoolers explore, play, and do pretend play exercises the capacities for doing science.” -Dr. Gobnickpic_science06