Science is so cool! I've said it over and over again, and will continue to believe so. Yet when I mention how cool science is to children, I'm groaned at, or I hear moans, as if science were a chore that is boring or dull. I have never really understood this. Science involves throwing stuff around, lighting it on fire or eventually blowing it up. How could you not love that? But seriously, and more importantly, I think it's figuring out how something works on your own terms.
Carl Sagan wrote:
"Every Kid starts out as a natural-born scientist and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact."
Why is that? Perhaps it is that we are too protective of children, or too controlling. The scary stories of girls and boys breaking their arms or poking their eyes out on sharp objects. Perhaps our education system is too stream-lined, and I understand it's not the teachers fault, nor the administrators. I recently watched a TEDtalk by Gever Tulley, titled "5 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kids Do". I recommend watching it, because it resonates so true for me. I was fortunate enough to have parents that supported the ideals in this talk. For the cliffnotes, the five things are:
When I was 6, i had a fascination with fire, I absolutely loved it. Rather than banning me from it, my parents put me in charge of lighting the daily fire. I can't express enough how much that taught me to respect it. I had a pocket knife, and have been throwing stuff since I was able to. I have always been kinesthetic, and while some teachers discouraged it, my parents literally ran with it. I remember hiding a telephone I'd taken apart, only to have my parents find it. They were upset, but it was the only working phone in the house. Later that week, we went to a second hand store and got me my own to fix. I never fixed it, but I sure did love taking it apart. I'm not so sure about the DMCA, but my favorite memory as a child was driving my dad's pick-up truck. It doesn't seem like much, but it meant everything to me.
My passion as an explorer of the world and the desire to learn the science behind it was never stifled and I'm so grateful. That's my two cents on that.