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Sparking Curiosity About STEM

Edutopia – Alessandra King

“Two years ago my school started a program called STEM Events to provide our students with opportunities to see how the concepts they study in separate classes like chemistry and geometry are really integrated in real-life situations. The program highlights the connections among the various disciplines of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math—and sometimes we add the arts, for STEAM). It also encourages our students—all girls—to explore STEM-related concepts in a noncompetitive and fun way and to develop a passion for these concepts and disciplines. Women are underrepresented in the STEM fields, so this is particularly worthwhile for our school.” (more)

The Benefits of Cultivating Curiosity in Kids

KQED News Mind/Shift – Daisy Yuhas

“Despite the centrality of curiosity to all scientific endeavors, there’s a relative dearth of studies on the subject itself. Fortunately, scientists such as Jirout and others are actively unraveling this concept and, in the process, making a convincing case that we can and should teach young minds to embrace their inquisitive nature. Far from driving the demise of cats, curiosity comes with many benefits. Studies suggest it’s linked to joy on the job, social skills and even a happy disposition. And in an academic context, greater curiosity generally predicts greater success.” (more)

Study explores link between curiosity and school achievement

Science Daily – Staff Writer

“Researchers know that certain factors give children a leg up when it comes to school performance. Family income, access to early childhood programs and home environment rank high on the list. Now, researchers are looking at another potentially advantageous element: curiosity.” (more)

Curiosity is key to early childhood success in math and reading

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Curious children are better able to grasp basic math and reading. This is according to a group of researchers from the University of Michigan, led by Prachi Shah. The study in the journal Pediatric Research, which is published by Springer Nature, is the first to investigate a possible link between curiosity and early academic success among young children. In addition, the researchers found that for children from poorer communities, curiosity is even more important for higher academic achievement than for children from more well-off backgrounds, and may serve as a potential target of intervention to close the achievement gap associated with poverty.” (more)

A Recipe for Inspiring Lifelong Learning

Edutopia – Ben Johnson

“I recently visited a tiny town in northern Texas that is famous for one thing: dinosaur tracks. As I walked through the river and stepped into gigantic tracks, I thought that these huge lizards had no inkling that so many years later bipedal mammals like me would be following their footsteps in wonder. It made me reflect over my career as an educator, and what kinds of impressions I have left in the hearts and minds of the many students I have taught. I would like to hope that the impressions I left were favorable, even memorable.” (more)

Schools Are Missing What Matters About Learning

The Atlantic – Scott Barry Kaufman

“The power of curiosity to contribute not only to high achievement, but also to a fulfilling existence, cannot be emphasized enough. Curiosity can be defined as “the recognition, pursuit, and intense desire to explore, novel, challenging, and uncertain events”. In recent years, curiosity has been linked to happiness, creativity, satisfying intimate relationships, increased personal growth after traumatic experiences, and increased meaning in life. In the school context, conceptualized as a “character strength,” curiosity has also received heightened research attention. Having a “hungry mind” has been shown to be a core determinant of academic achievement, rivaling the prediction power of IQ.”(more)