Born Scientists

Born Scientists

27 October 2022

Children are born scientists – they are innately curious about the physical environment and naturally open to making meaning through their exploration and conversations with others. Science teaching and learning is about introducing children to the ways scientists think about and investigate the physical environment. Scientists do this in two ways:

  1. They explore and confirm ideas about the physical environment we live in through investigation and exploration.

  2. They form hypotheses or “working theories” to make sense of the physical environment and identify these as science knowledge.

Science has traditionally been separated into five disciplines:

Living world (biology) – for example, plants and animals

Physical world (physics) – for example, forces, light, and sound

Material world (chemistry) – for example, melting and dissolving

Planet earth (geology) – for example, rocks and soil

And beyond (astronomy) – for example, planets and stars

Each discipline has specific ways of exploring and investigating the physical environment. Alongside this “western” framework of science sits a Te Ao Māori world view. An example of a difference between the two is that from a Te Ao Māori perspective, water and planet earth (papatūānuku) are living entities, while for western science they are objects and substance with no life force. In Aotearoa New Zealand, there is a growing interest, appreciation, and integration of mātauranga Māori (traditional knowledge) in our understanding of the world. A rich curriculum for science is one that acknowledges, respects, and draws on the similarities and differences between both world views. Information from

At Nurtured at Home, we have provided Educators with the recipe and ingredients for making gloop for tamariki to explore the material world, and during Matariki many of our Educators set up an area of exploration celebrating the stars beyond our planet. We have investigated the process of baking as an opportunity for tamariki to explore mathematical and scientific concepts and this month, we celebrate the living world with a pumpkin seedling for tamariki to grow with their Educator/Nanny.