The benefits of science in early childhood learning.
On the 16th of September, the children at Kids Kingdom Learning Child Care & Kindergarten Sydenham went on an excursion to Scienceworks Museum in Spotswood. This was an opportunity for the children to explore science concepts in a fun and interactive way.
An article by Terri Wattawa summarises the many benefits of early science learning.
“For most if not all young learners, science is just an extension of their everyday world. Science teaches you how to discover and wonder about everything around you, and that is something they do naturally. So science is the ideal subject to complement a child’s natural curiosity. This is why is so important to have children learning about science early on in life as the benefits are numerous. Think about some of the questions that children ask all the time. “Why is the sky blue?” and “Why did that pine cone fall down?” Science helps to answer all those questions amongst others. Plus, science can be very fun for children if it is presented correctly.
For educators teaching science, this is the opportunity to have a tremendous positive impact on shaping the thoughts and opinions of children. In fact, research has shown that by the time they reach the age of 7 most children have already formed an opinion, whether it be positive or negative, about science. Especially with a lot of emphasis on STEM education, it is almost imperative to include science in early childhood education. Early childhood educators have a much better influence on a child’s potential to seek out a career in science or engineering than at any other grade level.
So what are the benefits of learning science in early childhood? For starters, science involves a lot of communication with others. So children get the chance to talk and listen to others. It also teaches patience and perseverance as most of the time, things in science do not happen overnight. Other life skills that come with learning science include problem-solving and researching. Learning science early in childhood will allow them to think about what could happen before they actually do it, so they are creating hypotheses in their minds. They will also learn that everything will not work the first time and they will have to figure out what went wrong, how to fix it and try again. Looking ahead to their future, the possibilities for jobs are numerous. Children who have studied science early and continued with those studies will find that there are plenty of exciting and worthwhile jobs available. For example, jobs in renewable energies like solar and hydropower are rapidly increasing and with that the conversation involving preserving plants and animals.
Camille Thomson of the Australian Institute of Policy and Science’s Tall Poppy Campaign has stated: “there is always going to be the study of different habitats as well as the increase in technology in renewable energies.” Medical research is another sector that is rising as modern scientists are paving the way for future scientists when it comes to the cures for diseases.Above all else, the most important benefit that science has for children is teaching them very early how to think and develop a healthy portion of skepticism. Children will come up with their own opinions about the world rather than rely on the opinions of others and take them for granted.”
Wattawa, Terri. The Benefits of Learning Science in Early Childhood. Nov 2017. www.terriwattawa.org