Standards; • Share ways to employ children’s natural wonder and curiosity about the world to
integrate science into the curriculum.
Science is central to the lives of all of us. In our complex and rapidly changing world science knowledge is critical to making sense of it all. However, in spite of the importance of science education, today’s emphasis on meeting standards in reading and mathematics has at times meant that science takes a back seat in the curriculum, sometimes disappearing altogether. This can happen not only in the primary grades but in preschool and kindergarten as well. Yet young children are natural born scientists in the broadest sense of what a scientist is-one engaged in a systematic activity to gain knowledge-as they enthusiastically continue about their business of making sense of their real, tangible world by acting on their curiosity, experimenting with their environment, and asking questions. Experiences impact a child’s understanding of his or her world, and hands-on science activities that respect exploration are essential components of any early childhood setting. Add to that a setting that values curriculum integration and inquiry learning and a teacher will fi nd that it is completely possible to incorporate science to honor children’s needs while still meeting today’s academic standards.