Last week, Story House Early Learning, Black Rock celebrated science week with some surprising ‘reactions’ from the children.
National Science Week is Australia’s annual celebration of science and technology featuring more than 1000 events around Australia. There were virtual tours, online events, DIY science and more, all across Australia, from 15 – 23 August.
The children at Black Rock took the opportunity to experiment with the concept of cause-and-effect.
Did you know that children begin to develop cause-and-effect thinking skills as early as eight months of age? Cause-and-effect thinking, or causality, allows us to make inferences and reason about things that happen around us. Causality helps us understand things as simple as “If I don’t water the plants they’ll die” to things more complicated such as other people’s intentions and behaviours.
To demonstrate cause and effect, educators set up a range of experiments throughout the week for the children to engage in both inside and outside. The volcano experiment in the sandpit was a huge hit which was repeated every day by popular demand. Educators filled a vessel with bicarb soda, vinegar and food colouring. The children watched with anticipation and excitement as the ingredients combined to create an explosion of coloured foam which billowed out and over the volcano.
Other experiments included boiling purple cabbage to create purple liquid and watching it change all different colours when common household liquids were added like vinegar, sanitiser and eucalyptus.
The children were observed hypothesising and predicting what might happen when different liquids were mixed. They even took the initiative to order the colours from light to dark. Educators were delighted to see children engaged in ‘what if’ thinking which has extended beyond last week’s science experiments to this week where children are mixing paint colours to see what other colours they can create.
When teachers and parents ask children to explain “why” and “how” something works, they are giving the child the opportunity to think like scientists.
This process is effective both in the classroom and at home. By allowing children to gather evidence through exploration and understand it through explanation, it provides them with insights into the development of scientific reasoning – allowing them to harness their potential for scientific reasoning and improve their critical thinking skills.
Make your own volcano at home: Sciencebob.com
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To enquire about new enrolments or for more information about Story House Black Rock, please call Belinda at (03) 9598 4103.