Sparking our children’s natural curiosity and sense of wonder and encouraging additional skills that support investigation, research and discovery are important to helping foster our children’s later math and science abilities.
The Impact of Curiosity on Later Learning and Scientific Ability
The potential impact of fostering these skills in preschool age children is well documented. In a 2010 SEED Paper, Science in Early Childhood Classrooms, Content and Process, the link between stimulating these skills prior to formal schooling, and later interest and ability in math and science, clearly demonstrated. Anecdotal stories of world-famous scientists and mathematicians such as Isaac Newton, Madame Curie and Albert Einstein also substantiate that their interest in science and the world around them first began in early childhood.
While your child might not grow up to be a physicist like Stephen Hawking, it’s still important to their ability to learn, grow and develop to do what we can to stimulate their interest in the world and how things in it work.
National Science Week Presentations Great Learning Opportunity for All Ages
Preschool aged children are normally very eager to learn about the world around them, so it’s often not difficult to encourage their sense of exploration and adventure. Over time our children’s level of excitement about learning and understanding can dissipate. National Science Week is just one of many learning opportunities for children to discover more about their world and how it works, regardless of their age.
If you live in the Kimberley area, both you and your children are likely to have noticed the area’s famed tides, with the difference between the high and low tide differing by over 14 metres in Collier Bay during the Spring. Most children who see the tides want to know, just why are the Kimberley’s tides so big? Could it be the work of a fabled creature such as the Dirawong, or is some other mysterious, unseen force at work?
During the latest science week, Professor Ryan Lowe, who is both an astronomer and oceanographer, discussed how forces created by the sun and moon, as well as other factors such as the area’s specific geography, all work together to make up the ebb and flow of the Kimberley tides that occur in Roebuck Bay and other Kimberley beaches. Ocean circulation and wave energy were additional topics that were discussed during the presentation, which is part of the Science on the Broome Coast Series.
Additional Learning Opportunities
If you missed the presentation, posters and more information about the Kimberley Tides are available from the Science Network. The Roebuck Bay Working Group, which helped host the event, also offers additional programs and learning modules that can help children and adults learn more about the unique geography and flora and fauna specific to the local Kimberley area.
You might even want to consider taking your children to the next presentation in the series. Held on September 21 from 6 to 7 pm in the Notre Dame Multipurpose Hall, the topic of this event will be Estuarine and Freshwater Crocodiles. The population, habitat and behaviour of these reptiles in the Kimberley will be discussed, as well as efforts to conserve and protect these creatures from cane toads and other predators. While the event is free for the public to attend, donations are welcomed.
Of course, these are just some suggestions of area events that might help stimulate your child’s interest while helping to develop their science abilities. What activities have you and your child participated in recently to encourage their sense of wonder and excitement for learning about our world?