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You don't need a vacation to find the world beautiful

Has it been a long time since you took a vacation? Are you thinking of planning a vacation sometime soon? Where are you thinking of going - a beach, mountains or the forests?

What if I told you that you don't need to take a vacation to find the world beautiful? All you need is to open your eyes and and ask questions. You will find your current room beautiful.

Here are a few questions to think about:

- You are moving along with the Earth at 1600 km/hr. Why do you never feel that you are moving so fast? What will happen Earth suddenly stopped?

- What makes the red carpet look red? Is it the paint of the carpet? If so, then why does the carpet look black when light is switched off? It should continue to look red.

- Do I wear shoes or do I wear a bunch of charges? If so, is my chair also made up for the same charges?

- Why can't a dog say 'Hello' like humans do? Can any musical instrument say words like humans do?

- Why is the spoon colder than the table? We are in the same room after all.

Amazing things are going on around you. But, we don't realise the wonder in our world because we don't ask questions.

I was watching a video of Richard Feynman speaking about a conversation with a friend. His friend remarked to him that that you scientists take a flower, pull the flower apart and make it dull. Feynman remarks that there are so many other things that are much more beautiful about the flower that the friend is not even considering. Watch the video here:

How can we develop a sense of curiosity in children?

One of the ways of developing curiosity in children is to enable children to learn science. I mean: learn science not for exams but learn science like how science should be learned.

Have you ever visited an art gallery? That is how learning science should be. Observe each painting in peace. Understand each brush stroke and colour without a rush. Without the pressure of exams.

Science should be learned at ease. Just like observing a painting.

Unfortunately, most children just enter the art gallery and are rushed to the exit door. They never even look at the amazing art around them.

How should Science be taught?

a) Help children see the wonder in science: Children ask questions if they find something interesting. If they find Science to be a bunch of paragraphs and diagrams, why will they ask questions? It is important for teachers to make children realise the hidden wonders in science. This is an example of how the topic of Buoyancy can be made to seem amazing.

b) Develop a sense of exploration: It is important for teachers to speak less and allow children to explore on their own. An example of this is for teachers to ask a question and not reveal the answer until most children are done thinking. Even if some children raise their hands, teachers can ask them to 'Think Again' or ask them 'Are you sure?'. Once most children are done thinking, teachers can ask more questions.

Slowly, children will develop a sense of curiosity along with a habit of asking questions.

Benefits of learning Science

Science develops a sense of curiosity in children. It also has many other benefits such as:

a) It grows our brain: Our brain grows and rewires when we try new things and put some effort. Learning of science is filled with many ups and downs. When you learn science, you are wrong many times. You are forced to rethink. This process makes you smarter.

b) You develop a better understanding of the world: When you are learning science, you are studying your body, your surroundings, the relationship between different things around you. Learning science helps you understand the world better.

c) You become more creative: Science teaches you to think from many directions. It also teaches you to discard an idea if it is not working and think again from a fresh approach. Children who learn science are able to generate fresh ideas.

d) You learn how to learn: When you learn science, you learn to ask a question, propose a hypothesis and then test it. If your hypothesis fails the test, you reject your idea. If it succeeds, you learn something new. When you learn this method of thinking, you learn to learn anything you want.

How does Open Door help children in learning Science?

At Open Door, we realise that science is amazing. We design programs with beautiful questions at their heart. These programs are designed to bring out the wonders of science in front of the children. Open Door offers Thinking Classroom and Thinking Assessments to schools and Unbox and Thinksheets to individual parents.


Aneesh Bangia

Aneesh Bangia is the co-founder of Open Door. He writes about the past, present and future of education.

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