How Kids Learn Science
I'm sure many of us, growing up, thought science was about memorizing facts and dealing with end-of-chapter questions (with the answers, conveniently, located in the back of the textbook).
I had the opportunity to interview Francis Collins, head of the Human Genome Research Institute this week for another publication. As I was doing research for the interview, I came across this interview with him:
(bear with me, I'm still learning HTML)
My favorite section describes how he came to learn science was about questions that didn't have ready answers:
>>It was the 10th grade in high school, it was the first day of the chemistry course. Mr. House, this wonderful man who'd dedicated his life to getting high school students excited about science, came in and said, "We're going to do an experiment today. I'm going to give you this box, which is painted black, and it has an object inside it and I want you figure out all the ways that you might investigate this to figure out what the object is." And my initial reaction was, "What a dumb idea!" And then I started to try to come up with a list of the kinds of experiments one could do to determine what's inside this black box. And I got caught up in it. It was the first time I think that somebody had challenged me to come up with the ideas. I had some exposure to science in previous courses, but it was, "Here's the facts, learn them." This was, "Okay, I'm challenging you. Here's a problem, how would you solve it?" And I knew something was different here.<<
Has anyone else had such an "A-ha!" moment, or seen one in your children? - Laura