How to Raise a Science Lover

The best place to begin would be trying to make science something that you discuss within you home on a regular basis. This will familiarize your child with the subject, making it feel less daunting, while also showing them how interesting it can be and how important it is in the real world. You should also try and encourage curiosity within your child, by answering any questions they have about the world around them to the best of your abilities. There may be times that you don’t know the answers, but rather than shrugging it off, it would be better to help your child do some research and figure it out together.

How to Raise a Science Lover. The Stevenson Life

We have a good start. We have a good library of baby books that tackle scientific subjects. And, I enjoy connecting those to real life. When there is a fall, after the crying, we talk about gravity or friction. The effect had a cause, so I am pointing the attention to the cause.

The issue I have is with the concept of science as answer regurgitation. The challenge will be developing the understanding the Scientific Method. Question, hypothesis, prediction, test, evaluate. Plus data recording, replication, peer review.

The really entertaining part is she has a focus on causation. Science methodically seeks to explain it.

Baby hypothesizing

Saw a testing of a hypothesis. Fleur had a puff in her hand. She offered it to the cat who just looked at it. She paused and then tossed the puff on the floor exactly the same way I earlier tossed some treats for the cat.

This choice made me realize I don’t have the cat eat out of my hand. The puff looks enough like a treat that I agreed with her choice to try the method to see if the cat would go for it.

The test subject still just looked at it. Fleur picked up the puff and tossed it again getting the bounce that I normally get when I do it. Still no reaction from the cat.

Fleur tosses new foods from the high chair to see if the cat will eat it. She also will give the cat a share of foods, though sometimes she doesn’t give the cat any at all. And the cat expects food now. While dog sitting, it only took a day to realize the bounty of a high chair for both baby and elderly dog.

 

Causation

fb_img_1552696891627Fleur has gleeful look when adults make weird sounds before doing something funny. Nose boops, tickles, and the like. She loves the stuff from people she likes. And doing it well, is a good way into her favorite people list.

Dopamine is thought of as the reward neurotransmitter. But, it is more complicated. It is what we get anticipating a reward. Say, you are playing a video game, dopamine surges to ensure you focus and persevere to achieve the level or match.

The noise right before tells her it is coming. Classical conditioning pairs a neutral stimulus with a desired one. The prior one is neutral the first time, but after she has paired it with the desired stimulus and anticipates the desired one. It seems like she enjoys the anticipation almost as much.

In getting mobile and manipulating objects, she is learning to use operant conditioning as well. She exerts her will on the world around her. This takes the form of doing the same thing over and over both using the same technique to confirm it works and adjusting to see what might work better. The other day she was trying to get into my tablet and tapping different spots to see how it reacted. You could see the Scientific Method in action: hypothesis, design test, execute test, evaluate result, new hypothesis.

Something I never thought about in university psychology classes was the impressive nature of linking things into causal chains. If this, then that. Over and over. Both forms of conditioning require understanding causation. The sponge that is Fleur’s brain seems to seek out understanding causation. And happiness to me is creating an environment for her try things and figure out how they work.