One of the questions I’m always asked by reporters and other media folks is, “Why is it important to understand science?”
My answer is generally something like, “It’s important to have a fundamental understanding of how the world works.”
Maybe the best way to explain what I mean is by this example:
If someone told you this is how to bake brownies, you’d say that’s ridiculous. Even a four-year-old could tell you this is not the way to bake brownies. That small child has enough understanding of how to the world works to say this is wrong.
It’s that little voice in the pre-schooler’s head saying, “Nooooo, you have to mix it all up first,” that's we’re teaching in science classes. We're installing that little voice.
It’s really not about facts and such. It’s about having enough information about the world, gathered through systematic observation and experimentation, and then applying that information in a critical way. That’s what we call “science.”
Science is the process not the end result.
If you don’t have this foundational understanding, you have no basis to evaluate what’s happening around you.
At Whiz Kidz parties, some of what we do looks like magic - it’s not. It’s all science. But, we ask kids to think about what’s happening and how they would explain it. I will often joke, “You never thought you’d have to think this hard at a party, did you?”
Once it is safe to start doing science birthday parties and events, we’ll be back and we’ll be asking kids to think about what they’re seeing.
“How did I do that?” I’ll say after a demonstration.
Our goal is to ignite kids’ natural curiosity about the world - for them to access what they already know about how the world works and apply it to what’s happening around them.
That’s why we science!