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SCIENCE | STEM
Science in Montessori is known for introducing children in the early years to seemingly advanced topics, preparing them for a lifetime of discovery. Children explore through fun hands-on STEM invitations to learn the basic principles of physics, chemistry, astronomy, botany, and zoology. Since little people are natural observers, they are fascinated by the phenomenon found in the natural world. Besides, science is all around us and little explorers interact with the natural world everywhere they go! For example, they might ponder why a stone sinks while a flower floats, why certain materials attract each other through a magical force of magnetism, or what is this mysterious ‘walking water’ or capillary action? Through these investigations, little people learn how things work and how they are to interact with it. And Maria Montessori intuitively recognized this young child’s need to observe and absorb information about the world around them.
What is a scientist?… We give the name scientist to the type of man who has felt experiment to be a means guiding him to search out the deep truth of life, to lift a veil from its fascinating secrets, and who, in this pursuit, has felt arising within him a love for the mysteries of nature, so passionate as to annihilate the thought of himself.Maria Montessori, The Montessori Method
Encountering something new in nature sparks the child’s curiosity and leads to a spontaneous lesson as the child asks “What is this? What is it called? How does it feel/smell/taste/sound?” These sensorially-based questions are concrete evidence of the child’s stage of development. In this sensitive period, children should be encouraged to explore their environment with their senses. Importantly, Dr. Montessori believed that experience with real objects should always proceed before learning the names or looking at pictures of things. Thus, most science and STEM experiments in a Montessori environment are introduced early on and are conducted with real-life materials and tools.
Philosophy is written in that great book which ever lies before our gaze — I mean the universe — but we cannot understand if we do not first learn the language and grasp the symbols in which it is written. The book is written in the mathematical language, and the symbols are triangles, circles, and other geometrical figures, without the help of which it is impossible to conceive a single word of it, and without which one wanders in vain through a dark labyrinth. ~Galileo Galilei.
Once children’s senses have been awakened, they can be shown more abstract concepts such as the different states of matter, cohesion and adhesion, and much more!
MONTESSORI STEM & SCIENCE
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