Blog written by Mrs Jodie Bennett
Head of Junior School, Bayview Campus
Many of us will have a mental image of a scientist that includes an adult with a lab coat and safety goggles. If you have spent time with a toddler or pre-schooler, however, you would understand that they take on the role of a scientist as they learn about the world in which they live.
Duke is a typical, inquisitive 4-year old who has many, many questions about how the world around him operates. One day he became fascinated by the question of where water goes when it runs down the drain. As he watched the water travel down a storm water drain, he developed his own theory of where the water would head. He then realised there was another drain opening further on. He went back to the first drain, tipped a bucket of water down and raced to the next opening. Sure enough, Duke could see the water travelling through the next section of the drain.
Soon a small group of friends joined the mission to trace the flow of the water. They quickly surmised that the water would travel under the ground to a nearby storm water pipe, leading out into Pittwater.
This little group of friends developed a new string of questions. What is some rubbish went down that drain? What happens when the water goes down the drain in the kitchen? What happens when you flush the toilet. How does the tap make the water turn on and off? A tip to Kimbriki waste recovery centre at Ingleside provided the research team with an old kitchen sink that they could pull apart to see the pieces inside. They were fascinated by each tiny piece and the role it played in contributing to the way the whole system worked together. They happily spent time taking it apart, sketching the components and then attempting to fit it all back together.
As carers, our most important role is to provide an environment that fosters curiosity and this spirit of inquiry. Research would suggest pre-schoolers can ask more than 300 questions a day. Rather than answer them, we help them by asking, ‘What do you think?’ or ‘How could we find out?’ Then we are providing them with the space to do what scientists do best, to develop, test and refine their own theories.
At St Luke's, we believe in the value of engaging young learners, inspiring and empowering them to become the powerful learners of the future.
As such, we are delighted to offer a series of free "Early Learning Discovery Mornings" (for 2 to 4 year olds) onsite at both the Dee Why and Bayview Campuses.
The sessions, being held during March 2019, will focus on theme areas such as Microscopes and Mini-Beasts, Puppet Play, Move 'n' Groove and Rumble in the Jungle.
For further information, please click on the following link: www.stlukes.nsw.edu.au/toddler