Children have a knack for asking insightful, silly, and sometimes outrageous questions. They seek answers and aren’t fearful to venture a guess. This audacious questioning keeps science alive.
Albert Einstein and Katherine Johnson formulated solutions to problems many contemporaries had not yet considered; Charles Darwin and Rachel Carson pursued controversial questions about our natural world. I foster students’ natural scientific inquiry while introducing them to the skills which will guide them towards an answer — or, better yet, even more questions.
Science is the practice of resourceful curiosity. Students familiarize themselves with specialized equipment through hands-on projects, allowing them to learn laboratory safety procedures organically. We practice proper scientific observation and data collection by keeping detailed journals.
Students remain engaged when they see themselves reflected in their curriculum. I make a concerted effort to draw from the teachings and perspectives of a diverse set of scientists. Our classes introduce age-appropriate current events and link local ecosystems to the global environment. Field trips are an added opportunity to explore scientific concepts in real-world applications.
The tools and creativity we use in the lab and field enable students to be thoughtful, optimistic citizens. In a time of climate change, youth have become hyper-aware of the environmental threats they will inherit. I teach my students to look toward challenges with hope and resilience. It is my responsibility to lay the foundation for them to grow into conscientious adults who see the value (and fun!) in scientific questions and solutions.