Children are scientists, finding wonder in the world around them, hypothesizing about why things happen, testing, and drawing conclusions. It’s no wonder, then, that at TCEE we provide them with the necessary tools to complete these explorations and continue finding amazement wherever they go.
In the classroom, there are many different tools we give the children to encourage their scientific discovery and exploration. While we may put these tools out with specific provocations to encourage their use, they are always available on our shelves for children to grab whenever they find something requiring further investigation.
At the beginning of our school year in Tziporim, the children squealed with delight when they found what we later came to know as a house centipede crawling across our classroom. They insisted on getting a closer look and observed as I carefully found a temporary home for our new friend. Immediately, we took out the colored pencils, paper, and clipboards, all crucial tools for any scientist who has made a new discovery. The children were thoughtful about which colors they would use and how they would represent this amazing discovery.
Recently, while thinking about Tu B’shvat, the children dug into a bucket of potting soil filled with all sorts of treasures from nature. Tasked with exploring, the children grabbed the necessary tools: magnifying glasses and eyedroppers. They made discoveries about the tools, not only about the objects they were exploring. One child said “This (acorn) is so small!” When a teacher prompted her by saying, “What happens when you put it under the magnifying glass?” she replied with, “It gets bigger!” Her amazement in discovering the use of the tool before her was infectious. Other children began to come over, oohing and aahing at the sight of the nature items under the magnifying glass.
Providing children with the tools they need lays the foundation for scientific thinking. If children see something interesting, they are more likely to grab some colored pencils and make an observational sketch if they have used these tools for this purpose before.
Scientific thought and inquiry is a skill required no matter where life takes these children, and TCEE is always here to help along the way by supporting the growth and development of these skills and thought processes.