To mark British Science Week we have a guest blog from Dr Lucy Catto, a mum, scientist, STEM Ambassador and owner of Mini Professors Norwich.
Does your toddler sometimes drive you crazy with their constant “Why?” questions? Is it me or do they seem to have an uncanny knack of asking them at the most inconvenient moment like when you are trying to stop dinner burning or signing for a parcel at the door? My youngest recently asked me why we have 10 toes and not 8. This is a brilliant question, but it didn’t feel like it when it was shouted into my ear at 4 am!
As frustrating as their constant thirst for knowledge can be it is clearly something we should celebrate and encourage. Children are born scientists due to their natural curiosity and as a parent and a STEM Ambassador one of my main hopes is that they don’t stop asking questions because a great scientist is simply a child in adult clothing! Scientists question things all the time and have a child-like curiosity about the world around them. Taking a step back and viewing the world through a toddler’s eyes is fascinating and is probably why I love my job at Mini Professors so much!
Next time your toddler asks “Why..?” try to encourage them to come up with possible explanations (a hypothesis). Even if you haven’t got a clue what the correct answer it doesn’t matter – the important thing is that your little one is coming up with ideas (and often their suggestions show amazing insight or are simply hilarious!)
As for why we have 10 toes, it seems that no-one really knows but this opened up a great discussion about evolution over breakfast (once my caffeine had kicked in!)
Here’s a colourful experiment for you to enjoy together during Science Week:
1 piece of kitchen roll
1 washable black felt tip pen
1 clear plastic cup or glass
Fold a sheet of kitchen roll in half to make a rectangle
Draw a line along one of the long edges of the paper approximately 1 inch from the edge
Roll the paper into a tube with the ink on the outside
Pour a small amount of water into the glass (approximately 1 cm)
Place the tube of paper gently into the glass and watch what happens!
Black ink is made up of a mixture of colours and the colours separate out through a process called Chromatography. The inks that like the paper stay near the bottom whilst the ones that love the water (the mobile phase) move up to the top.
At Mini Professors we cover over 80 different topics including Space, Dinosaurs, Electricity, Chemical Reactions and much more. Each lesson is packed full of experiments, singing, videos, stories and lots of fun.
We run weekly classes for 2-5 year olds and monthly Saturday and holiday specials. We also run nursery and Home Ed sessions and a Schools Programme for EY and KS1.
EXCLUSIVE OFFER Book a Mini Professors class between March 1st 2019 and May 31st 2019 and you will receive a voucher to get one adult and child into the Sea Life centre for just £7.50 (gate price is normally over £30!)