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Remembering Why Curiosity Should Be Boundless #MakerEducation

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Great piece from science communicator Amanda Baker on the Scientific American Blog.

Spending time on the pedagogy/advocacy side of STEM can yield side effects that frame the world in terms of measurable outcomes. It starts with a daycare notification about the science activity for the day involving dropping food coloring in containers of milk, and the niggling voice asking whether that is science or art. I mean, it’s not like the teachers are explaining the phenomenon, right? Without context, shouldn’t building with blocks be labelled as motor skills and not engineering? Suddenly those voices are building more silos instead of breaking out of them. I am thankful for the voices of my informal-education peers bringing me back to reason. And I am thankful for reality reminding me that toddlers are toddlers, and they will learn as much about the world as we will let them. 

Watching young children interact with the world can provide an important reminder of science as a process and frame of mind rather than scope of content. Trying the same puzzle piece in every orientation in every slot is part of a systematic approach to problem solving. Modelers trying to represent a new phenomenon have to start out the same way, and geneticists might be reminded of their own shotgun approaches.

Read more.


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