Scientific thinking is based on things that children naturally have in abundance—curiosity, energy, and playfulness! While it may sound too easy to be true, a great way to develop scientific thinking is to let children explore and play. As children explore the everyday world, ask questions, and start developing theories about how the world works, they are well on their way to thinking like a scientist. And, research shows that it is extremely important that children have early exposure to scientific thinking. According to science education professor Robert Tai, “most young people’s science aspirations and views of science are formed during the primary years and have solidified by the age of 14, by which point the idea of science as ‘not for me’ becomes very difficult to change.” We can change that dire path by capitalizing on children’s fascination with the everyday world.
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