Course Information


Playful Science Inquiry With Young Children

Course Description:

Children begin learning about science concepts and conducting rudimentary science investigations at very young ages. For example, think about young children's water play: a child playing in the bathtub or kitchen sink learns about objects that sink or float, how faucets work as simple machines, how bubbles form and burst, and how sponges can change from one shape into another. Similarly a child digging in the sand at the beach will learn about the properties of sand and water, the concepts of volume and strength, and animal habitats if they find a sand crab or clam.

Early childhood educators and caregivers working with young children can draw on children's natural curiosities and questions that come up in play to start off on their science adventures together. What makes my dog run faster than your dog? Why are the leaves falling off the trees? Where do birds fly to?

In this course, we will focus on how we engage young children in playful science inquiry, including practices such as:
- asking questions
- making observations and predictions
- investigating ideas
- reflecting on what we sense
- sharing our findings with others

Note: This is a self-paced course accessible for one year after enrollment, and not eligible for graduate credit.

For assignments and evaluation details, see the full Syllabus.

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“It is not enough to be an active member of a school team; all of our children deserve the benefit of ideas from colleagues throughout the state and nation.”

Dr. Gaylynn Parker
Information Systems Department
Pascagoula School District