Watching my 2 year old try over and over to pour a large amount of water into a small container and observing her dogged determination that there was a solution to this problem, I was struck that kids are natural scientists.
There are some things that little scientists have in common with the big guys.
Scientists ask questions.
Why is there favorite question. AND if you spend even 5 minutes with a 3 or 4 year old you know WHY is a favorite question of the younger set as well. Kids don’t just accept the given explanation. They challenge and question why and even more important why not.
Scientists are interested in the world around them.
Scientists are interested in nature and the order of things. Their curiosity of the natural world leads to discoveries and new ideas. Can you imagine a 5 year old Darwin out in the backyard catching ants or spiders? Kids collect rocks, taste everything, dig, explore and are always riveted by the natural world.
Kids and scientists are problem solvers.
Most of the great discoveries of our time come from a problem that needed to be solved. Kids invent new ways to do things all the time. Just watch any 2 year old who wants to reach something on a high counter as she defies the laws of physics to stack things to climb on and reach her goal. Children naturally push boundaries, which makes for a great inventive scientist.
Scientists are creative thinkers.
To be an effective problem solver you have to think outside the box. At no time in a person’s history are we more creative than when we are young. Kids are able to take flights of fancy and wonder “what if?” which is exactly what science compels us to do as well.