The Importance of Pre-School Science

By Lisa Tabachnick Hotta

orginally posted on TVO parents

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Why is it important to introduce early learners to science? There are a variety of reasons; but one of the most important is that science provides a context for learning about our world.

“Parents know that children’s favorite question is ‘why’,” says Bonnie Schmidt, president of Let’s Talk Science, "Science gives us a framework to understand the world and to answer those questions of ‘why?”

Other reasons why early exposure to science is useful:  

  • It helps children develop valuable literacy skills – in addition to developing scientific, environmental and math-related literacy, science may prompt children who don’t enjoy reading fiction to read non-fiction, linking the scientific process of exploring and discovery with reading.
  • Scientific inquiry and problem-solving builds confidence. Learning to ask questions and solve problems is an essential life skill and vital for school learning.
  • Early exposure to the many facets of science may help cement future interest. “Many young people turn away from the world of science because they think it’s isolating and that science works by itself,” says Schmidt. “If you can help children understand that science is actually about teamwork, about exploring their world and about communicating that information to other people, the essence of science will be better understood [and more youth may stick with it.