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Mr Archimedes’ bath

Posted on July 1st, 2020 in STEM literacy links

Author: Pamela Allen | Age: 3-6

Man and animals in large full bath

What is wrong with Mr Archimedes’ bath? It keeps overflowing when he and his friends, Kangaroo, Wombat and Goat, get in. Frustration turns him into a scientist. Forming a hypothesis – “This must be someone’s fault!” – he takes measurements and experiments with the number of animals in the bath. When Mr Archimedes and the animals finally work out that they all together cause the overflow, instead of fixing the problem, they revel in their power and keep hopping in and out to make the water levels rise and fall again and again. Just like when children try to get to the bottom of a question they have about the world, the answer may be a lot less interesting in the end than the joyful journey of discovery that got them there.

Encourage the children in their daily lives to investigate interesting phenomena themselves. Allow them to experience some level of frustration and give them space to start their own investigations into why something is or isn’t working. All they need is time to repeat something over and over again and a few friends to help out. They may or may not find the answer to their question but they will most certainly have a lot of fun in the process (especially if they are allowed to make a mess, like Mr Archimedes and his friends).

With our book recommendations, we want to help you spark a conversation that leads children to discover STEM in their everyday lives. Have the courage to go beyond the obvious STEM connections and embrace all questions that may come out of your discussion with the children.

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