Hat tip to a former student for sharing an article about a class of 8-10 year old children in Britain, who did a scientific study of bees and ended up being published in a Royal Society journal. This is great!
This fits in nicely with my last three posts. This is a prime example of 21st Century learning. This is what our kids here in the U.S. should be doing, rather than largely ignoring science and the social sciences to put all the focus on reading and math, in order to do well on high-stakes testing for NCLB. This is multi- and interdisciplinary work, where kids learn that science, math, writing, reading, and communication are all related, and that the content being presented in school matters in the real world. This is giving them experience and practice and exposure to problem solving, critically thinking about data and observations, trial and error with experiments, trouble shooting, tinkering, collaborating, finding information with modern tools, and how one's work is presented to the world. It gives them a chance to discover things on their own, and allows them to be creative and innovative as they try to learn about and figure out a complex problem. This shows what young children are capable of doing, if only given the opportunity! We tend to UNDERestimate what kids can do.
If only we could do this on a large scale in the U.S., and actually prepare kids for their futures while making learning fun and engaging!