“Why is the sky blue?” Sound familiar? It’s a common question asked by kids as they grow up and start to inquire about the world. And it’s an unanswerable question without the aid of science. We as parents or teachers may not necessarily have all of the right answers, but how we respond fosters kids’ continual wonderment.
It all starts with questions such as: “Why is the sky blue?” Without knowing it, kids are engaging in a scientific process when they are hardly old enough to stand. Often, their questions may have complicated answers or involve complex processes—after all a caterpillar does not turn into a butterfly overnight.
When a child sits down and starts to build a tower, maybe that tower happens to take a tumble. Does the child simply walk away? Most likely, not. The child observes how certain blocks balance with one another and experiment with different heights and designs in order to create a tower that stands up. While it doesn’t involve beakers and bunsen burners, children are working their way through the scientific method: hypothesis, experimentation, observation and looking at cause-and-effect to solve the problem at hand.
Problem solving skills are hard to teach—sort of like common sense. But when kids experiment on their own, they naturally develop scientific minds.
Today—unwavering towers. Maybe tomorrow—a new biological theory.