When we are out attending conferences and chatting with parents, teachers, and school administrators, we are often asked if it is better to start teaching “real” science in high school. We believe that the best time to start learning real science is when the child starts asking questions about the world around them; like what is Jell-O made of and why can’t the snowman stay until summer? This is the ideal time to start teaching kids about atoms and molecules, force, energy, and work, how plants grow and why, and what the Earth, planets, and stars are made of and how they move. Young children are primed to explore the world around them, and when they start asking real questions, we should always do our best to give them real answers.
If we wait until high school, we miss the most important time in a child’s life to engage them in a subject they find fascinating, and it is really hard to learn anything if we aren’t engaged. One misconception is that “real” science is too hard to teach to younger students and this simply isn’t true. If real science facts and concepts are presented in an easy-to-follow and logical manner, anyone can learn science – even a first grader. Not convinced? Watch Naomi and decide if this 6-year old has learned a few real science facts and concepts.