Education How To

Three reasons to encourage science in your child

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

To celebrate the upcoming Bluedot Festival, here’s why you should stimulate the scientist in your child.

Two of my great loves, science and music, perfectly collide this July at the Bluedot Festival at Jodrell Bank Observatory, Cheshire.

The annual cultural event has only been running since 2016, yet it’s already attracted talks from the likes of evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, physicist Heather Williams and music New Order. While this year, krautrockers Kraftwerk and Jim Al-Khalili are set to appear at it.

A unique festival (certainly on these shores at least) like this is the ideal arena to expose your children to the benefits and fun of science, either for the first time or as further encouragement. And to celebrate this, here are three reasons for always encouraging your child when it comes to science.

We’re wired for science anyway…

A report last year by Center for Childhood Creativity called The Roots of STEM Success: Changing early learning experiences to build lifelong thinking skills found that young kids can understand complex scientific theories even if they can’t express themselves fully yet – suggesting that a scientific and analytical mind is rooted in us from birth. As Elizabeth Rood, co-author of the report, comments: “Humans are wired to want to understand the world around them. We come out of the box that way.”

So many branches…

The tree of science has endless branches twisting off it. It isn’t all about cinematic, mad Rotwangs conniving in laboratories with frothing flasks, you know. It’s about collecting stones and fossils on the beach like a young David Attenborough once did or learning the basics of computer coding. It’s sticking a telescope up to the sky on a clear night and searching for the Plough. Lifting up leaves in your back garden to discover the insects living there. The legions of scientific disciplines available, from microbiology to astrophysics and entomology, open up

Cultivates appreciation…

Rather than blindly accepting all ones sees at face value, being curious about why moths are drawn to light or why planes stay in the air will your child teach valuable methods of enquiry. That’s not to say that every child must learn the exact mechanics of a car engine before learning to drive. But knowing, for example, that a rainbow is the result of sunlight entering raindrops before breaking up and then being scattered into seven different colours for our eyes to feast upon is a beautiful process to know. Science helps you understand how ‘things’ work, which can instil an appreciation of life – early on in life.

Bluedot Festival runs from 18th-21st July – for more info or to buy tickets, visit discoverthebluedot.