Using the Great Outdoors to Develop Scientific Inquisitiveness

 Scientific Inquisitiveness pic
Scientific Inquisitiveness
Image: mhskids.org

Milton Hershey School provides excellent pre-K through 12th-grade education to students from low-income backgrounds and underserved areas. The teachers at Milton Hershey School offer a problem-based approach to learning that encourages students to be inquisitive. Parents can develop this same type of inquisitiveness in their own children by giving them some “green time,” or some time spent in the great outdoors.

Historically, there was a single right answer in science classes. Children were given a picture of a leaf and asked to identify the type of tree from which it came. This type of learning discourages exploration and produces students who have difficulty thinking outside the box. Instead of asking children to identify the leaves, parents may want to challenge them to think about how the leaf relates to the environment.

Saying that a leaf came from an oak tree is only the first step. Next, parents should ask children to think about why an oak tree would be in the area and how this plant fits into the other flora and fauna around it. Taking time to point out the animals and insects living in the tree turns children into explorers and sparks a number of questions about how what the tree gives to the forest and what it takes. This zest for exploration, in turn, will make them good scientists in the classroom.

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